Lions fast start gets stomped out


Phil Scherer | Legacy Managing Editor
From Print [September 29, 2015] | Legacy

For the third week in a row, the LU football team struggled to put together a complete game, falling to Missouri Western 34-14 on the road.

The game began well for the Lions, as a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half from running back Lavorrie Johnson and quarterback Jesse Scroggins had the Lions up 14-3 early. Along with the early running success, it appeared that Scroggins had finally gained the accuracy that had plagued him in the early parts of the year.

He completed five of his seven passes on the opening drive, setting up the Johnson touchdown run that gave the Lions a 7-0 advantage.

The solid play would continue in the second quarter, as Scroggins once again led the Lions on a solid drive, going 75 yards in eight plays and running the ball in from a yard out to give his team a 14-3 lead.

Graphic 3
Graphic by Phil Scherer

Though Scroggins scored the touchdown, Johnson was the key player on the scoring drive, tallying nearly 40 yards on three carries, including a key 25-yard run that put LU at midfield and set up the score.

After the Missouri Western Griffins drove down the field for a field goal to end the first half, LU led 14-6.

The game began to shift for LU as the second half got underway, as Missouri Western quarterback TJ Lafaver found wide receiver DiJuan Ussery on a 57-yard touchdown that got the Griffons within two points of the Lions after a missed extra point attempt.

Missouri Western added another touchdown later in the quarter as running back Josh Caldwell ran into the end zone to give the Griffons an 18-14 lead following one of three missed extra point attempts on the day for the kicker.

LU fell into a deeper hole just three plays later as Scroggins lost a fumble while scrambling, and Griffons’ defender Yomi Alli returned it 44 yards to put Missouri Western up 25-14.

From that point forward, the Lions were unable to get anything going on offense, while the Griffons added nine more points, winning the game 34-14.

Common mistakes resurfaced for the Lions in this game, as the defense was gashed by the run once again this week, allowing 253 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. For the game, the Griffons rushed for more than five yards per carry, slicing through the frontline of the LU defense.

The Lions have allowed the opposition to run for more than 200 yards in each of the past three games and have allowed eight rushing touchdowns in their three losses.

Despite the loss, linebacker Connor Harris was a standout on defense once again, compiling 15 tackles on the day and launching a key 51-yard punt that pinned the Griffons deep during the first half.

On the offensive side of the ball, Scroggins was under pressure the entire afternoon, being sacked by the defense six times and completing just 17 of his 35 passes for 131 yards and an interception, to go along with his untimely fumble. He also led the Lions in rushing attempts on the day, running the ball 14 times for 41 yards to go along with his touchdown run.

The Lions, now holding a record of 1-3, will return home next Saturday as they take on Emporia State for the homecoming game at 2:30 p.m.

Last season, the Lions fell 37-22 on the road against the Hornets. Emporia State currently holds a record of 4-0 for the season.