Phillip Scherer | Sports Editor
September 25, 2014; 11:00 p.m.
In the first football game nationally televised in the history of the program, the Lions fell 26-9 to the Missouri Western Griffons.
Prior to the game, former Lion defensive back and current Cleveland Brown Pierre Desir presented the coin toss at midfield. It was the first time he had been back inside Hunter Stadium since being drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft last spring.
The Griffons got on the board first in the opening quarter as quarterback TJ LaFaver found Brandynn Clark for a 15-yard touchdown on a 4th down play to put Missouri Western up 7-0.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Lindman, who replaced senior Dillon Miller midway through the first quarter, answered back early in the second quarter. He found sophomore running back Marvin Byrd on a 66-yard touchdown that appeared to even the score. However, the Lions missed the ensuing extra point, leaving the score at 7-6.
After the Lions forced a three-and-out and got back on offense two minutes later, a snap went over the head of Lindman and into the end zone, recovered by the Griffons for a touchdown putting them up 14-6.
LU answered back with a field goal with two minutes remaining in the half and went into the locker room trailing 14-9.
The second half saw a dominating effort by the Missouri Western defense. They recorded a safety early in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to ten points, and later intercepted a Lindman pass with ten minutes remaining, returning it for a touchdown. The throw, Lindman’s final attempt of the game, extended the lead for a final time to 26-9.
The story of the game for both teams was a lack of ball control. The Lions turned the ball over four times, including two interceptions, a fumble and a safety. The Griffons had three turnovers, including two interceptions deep in LU territory.
In his debut, Lindman completed ten of his 20 pass attempts and threw for 145 yards. Jaron Alexander was the leading receiver for LU, tallying six catches for 103 yards.
The Lions will carry their 1-3 record into a matchup next Saturday, Oct. 4, against Emporia State.