Phil Scherer | Legacy Managing Editor
From Print [ October 6, 2015] | Legacy
Entering Saturday’s game against nationally ranked and undefeated Emporia State, LU was without a number of season-long starters and key offensive contributors including quarterback Jesse Scroggins and running back Calen Campbell.
Although their replacements were able to keep the game close, the Emporia State passing attack proved too much to overcome in a 20-13 defeat.
For the first half of the game, the offensive inconsistency seen from the Lions throughout the year was once again on display.
Freshman quarterback Mason Bendigo, forced into service due to the Scroggins injury, relied heavily on his running game and struggled to convert on a number of key third down opportunities.
Through the first half, the LU offense got the ball past midfield on only two drives, one leading to a field goal and the other ending in a turnover on downs as a Bendigo pass to Tre’ Roby fell incomplete inside the 30-yard line.
As the teams entered the locker room for halftime, LU trailed 14-3.
This time-lapse was taken during the first half of the football game against Emporia State by Nao Enomoto
Both offenses struggled to move the ball in the third quarter, and the score remained the same until the final drive of the quarter.
After a short Emporia State punt allowed the LU offense to start its possession on the 41-yard line, Bendigo wasted no time moving his team down the field, and found Roby for a 23-yard touchdown that put LU within four points at 14-10.
Emporia State added a touchdown two drives later to extend their lead to 20-10, but on the extra point attempt, LU defender Steven Pace kept the game within reach by blocking the kick, allowing an opportunity to make a comeback with under seven minutes left.
Though Bendigo was able to march his team down the field on the drive that followed, he was unable to push the ball into the end zone, settling for a field goal that made the score 20-13.
With less than five minutes remaining, Emporia was able to run the ball and drain the clock, escaping with a victory that allowed the Hornets to remain undefeated this season.[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We’ve got to be able to score points or we aren’t going to win many games,” head coach Patrick Ross said. “Until we start scoring points we’re going to see the same results. You can’t win games in this league without putting touchdowns on the board.”[/pullquote]
Bendigo finished with 21 completions, 224 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate start.
On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Connor Harris continued his outstanding season, racking up 24 tackles and adding a sack. LU, now 1-4, will continue its schedule next Saturday as they travel to undefeated Northwest Missouri State to take on the Bearcats at 1 p.m.
“We have to recover real quick from this game,” Bendigo said. “We have a game against one of the best teams in the country next week so we have to learn from this game and get better from it.”