Lindenwood football wins fourth game of the year for the first time since 2012

In+a+file+photo+from+2017%2C+Quarterback+Najee+Jackson+throws+a+pass+vs.+Emporia+State.+Jackson+threw+for+180+yards+and+two+touchdowns+and+rushed+for+a+touchdown+on+Oct.+14+in+Lindenwood%27s++37-17+win.+%3Cbr%3E%0APhoto+by+Maria+Escalona

In a file photo from 2017, Quarterback Najee Jackson throws a pass vs. Emporia State. Jackson threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown on Oct. 14 in Lindenwood's 37-17 win.
Photo by Maria Escalona

SCOTT MANDZIARA | Sports Editor

Lindenwood (4-6) defeated Missouri Southern (0-10) 37-17 on Saturday afternoon, earning its fourth win of the season for the first time since 2012. 

The Lions led the game from start to finish. On the opening drive of the game, quarterback Najee Jackson led Lindenwood down the field on a nine-play 49-yard drive, capped off by a four-yard rushing touchdown by Jackson to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.

Jackson rushed eight times for 42 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, the most rushing yards Jackson has had since week four against Pitt State when he rushed for 46 yards.

The Lions defense held Missouri Southern to just 3 points in the first quarter. This season Lindenwood has given up an average of 6.4 points in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Lions offense found the end zone again. This time Jackson threw it to John Johnson, making it Johnson’s first touchdown of his career at Lindenwood to extend the Lions lead to 17-3.

Jackson has thrown touchdowns to a variety of receivers this year. Seven different receivers have caught touchdowns this year in the Lions receiving corps. 

Right before the half ended, running back Shakeem Wharton finished off a drive with a 14-yard rush to give the Lions a 24-10 lead at the half.

Lindenwood’s offense combined to rush for 299 yards on Saturday. This was the most rushing yards since the Lions rushed for 417 yards in week two against Northeastern State. In fact, if you combine the rushing yards in the last four weeks, it totals to 302 rushing yards for Lindenwood.

In the second half the Lions would score their largest touchdown of the game. Jackson found senior wide receiver Kendell Sparks for a 45-yard touchdown. 

Jackson’s final statline was 14 for 27 for 180 yards and two passing touchdowns, the most yards he’s thrown since back on Oct. 14 when he threw for his season-high 367 yards.

Back in 2012, Lindenwood’s first year in NCAA, the football team went 8-4, its best record since joining the MIAA.

Lindenwood will have a chance to finish the season with five wins next Saturday at Harlen C. Hunter Stadium at 1 p.m. as the Lions will take on University of Central Missouri (7-3).