Football team drops final game of season to Central Missouri


Lions quarterback Najee Jackson prepares to heave the ball while being rushed by the Mules’ Wyatt Hendrix.
Photo by J.T. Buchheit

J.T. BUCHHEIT Chief Copy Editor

The Lions lost 31-24 at home after failing to overcome a late touchdown by the University of Central Missouri Mules on Saturday, Nov. 11. Lindenwood finished the season with a 4-7 record, while Central Missouri went to 8-3.  

At the end of the first quarter, the Lions led 3-0 after a field goal by Travis Spraul. Lindenwood extended its lead to 10 with 8:36 left in the second quarter after Najee Jackson threw a 21-yard touchdown to Deantrell Prince.

At the start of the Lions’ drive with 5:42 remaining in the quarter, running back Shakeem Wharton fumbled, and the ball was recovered by the Mules at Lindenwood’s 31-yard line. Mules running back Devante Turner crossed the goal line later in the drive, and the score tightened to 10-7 in favor of the Lions. 

The Lions opened the second half in good field position after a Mules onside kick was recovered by Lindenwood at Central Missouri’s 48-yard line. Lions running back Calen Campbell scored on a 12-yard rush to increase the lead to 17-7.

Jackson lost a fumble on a sack with 8:40 left in the third quarter, and the Mules started their drive at the Lions 48-yard line. Mules quarterback Brook Bolles threw a 5-yard touchdown to Kyrion Parker to cap off the drive and make the score 17-14 Lions. 

Shortly after the start of the fourth quarter, a 15-yard pass interference penalty by Central Missouri’s Jackson Newman allowed the Lions to advance to the Mules 2-yard line, and Jackson extended the lead by throwing a touchdown to Kai Collier. The score was 24-14 Lions.

On the next drive, Central Missouri launched an aerial attack. Bolles threw four passes for 81 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Jaylen Zachery, making the score 24-21 Lions.

The Mules tied the game with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard field goal by Alex Langer. 

Central Missouri took its first lead of the game with 2:07 remaining. Lions defensive back Darrius Williams committed a personal foul after a tackle at Lindenwood’s 26-yard line that put the Mules in the red zone at the Lions 13-yard line. Turner later ran it in from 1 yard out to make the game 31-24 Mules.

After scrambling to convert a fourth-and-7, Jackson threw a deep pass that was intercepted by the Mules’ Monteze Latimore with 26 seconds remaining. With the Lions out of timeouts, Bolles took a knee, ending the game. 

The end of the season also concluded head coach Jed Stugart’s first year at the helm after transferring from the University of Sioux Falls. He now holds a career coaching record of 95-31.