Blue Tigers lose game, top two offensive threats

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Lincoln running back Morris Henderson (top photo) sidesteps a Saint Joseph’s defender during Saturday’s game at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. (Stephen Brooks/News Tribune photo)

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Make that adding the worst possible insult to two injuries.

The insult for the Lincoln football team was Saturday’s 58-22 loss to Saint Joseph’s at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

The injuries were crushing ones, as the Blue Tigers lost their top two offensive weapons during the game’s early going.

“It was Murphy’s Law — whatever could happen, did happen,” Lincoln coach Nathan Cochran said. “Between losing Morris (Henderson) and Maurice (Wood- ard), and losing the football, it was bad.”

And the Blue Tigers did lose the football, as they fumbled nine times, losing five of them.

But those were as painful as losing Henderson to a knee injury and Woodard to a leg injury.

“We probably won’t have either one of them for Homecoming (on Saturday),” Cochran said. “That will just make our young guys have to step up a whole lot faster, which is not where we wanted to be, but we don’t have a choice right now.”

Coming into the game, Henderson was Lincoln’s leading rusher (43 carries for 318 yards), second-leading receiver (three for 45) and leading scorer (18 points), while Woodard was the leading kick returner (12 for 327 yards and one score), third-leading rusher (20 for 134) and leading receiver (four for 84).

“It was just bad — we played bad and things went bad,” Cochran said. “It’s discouraging and disappointing.”

The Pumas took a 27-10 lead into halftime and every single point came after a Lincoln turnover, as the Blue Tigers had six fumbles and lost three. Lincoln also had a punt blocked and Saint Joseph’s recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Pumas then tacked on 31 points in the third quarter thanks to constantly working on a short field. Their thirdquarter drives started at their 39-yard line, the Lincoln 15, the Lincoln 24, the Lincoln 38 and the Lincoln 48.

Lincoln’s only scores came in the second and fourth quarters.

In the second, Joseph Snell scored on a 3-yard run and Josh Blanton connected on a 45-yard field goal.

Alexander Campbell scored on a 4-yard run with 10:52 left in the game, but the PAT kick was wide left. Lincoln’s Sean Foster then scored on a 1-yard run with 2:08 remaining, but the 2-point run failed.

And as if their previous troubles weren’t bad enough, the Blue Tigers then spectacularly screwed up the onsides kick attempt after Foster’s score. Not only did it not go the required 10 yards (it went 6), it also hit two Lincoln players, one of them the kicker on a ricochet.

“It was freakish stuff,” Cochran said. “But it is October and we’re getting closer to Halloween.”

The Blue Tigers (1-4) actually held some statistical advantages, as they led the Pumas (2-3) in total yardage (365-364) and first downs (19-17). But the five lost fumbles were too big to overcome.

“Obviously we weren’t prepared to play,” Cochran said. “... We’re going to go back to the drawing board on ball security this week.”

A.J. Simeon had a big day for the Blue Tigers on offense, as he carried the ball 14 times for 123 yards. Lincoln completed just four passes, but three of them went for big yardage, as Snell caught a 44 yarder, James Lester-Spencer hauled in one for 43 yards and Deon Brock had one catch for 29 yards.

Reggie Jennings led the Lincoln defense with eight tackles, while Julien Noel and Torrence Malone had seven each.

The Blue Tigers will host Southwest Baptist at 2 p.m. Saturday for Homecoming.

Saint Joseph’s 58, LU 22

Saint Joseph’s / Lincoln

First downs 17 / 19

Rushes-yards 48-283 / 65-238

Passing (C-A-I) 8-9-0 / 4-13-0

Passing yards 81 / 127

Total yards 364 / 365

Punts-avg. 1-24.0 / 4-21.0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 / 9-5

Penalties-yards 2-20 / 4-26

Saint Joseph’s 13 14 31 0 — 58

Lincoln 0 10 0 12 — 22

First Quarter

Saint Joseph’s — Ogletree 3 run (Quackenbush kick), 8:21. Saint Joseph’s — Wyatt 79 run (kick blocked) 3:56.

Second Quarter

Lincoln — Snell 3 run (Blanton kick), 12:42. Saint Joseph’s — Lee blocked punt recovery in end zone (Quackenbush kick), 6:22. Saint Joseph’s — Gonzales 20 pass from Ogletree (Quackenbush kick), 2:31. Lincoln — Blanton 45 FG, :14.

Third Quarter

Saint Joseph’s — Banks 5 run (Quackenbush kick), 13:29. Saint Joseph’s — Rouba 4 pass from Ogletree (Quackenbush kick), 10:01. Saint Joseph’s — Banks 3 run (Quackenbush kick), 8:57. Saint Joseph’s — Quackenbush 36 FG,5:20. Saint Joseph’s — Stephens 6 pass from Hladik (Quackenbush kick), 0:44.

Fourth Quarter

Lincoln — Campbell 4 run (kick failed), 10:52. Lincoln — Foster 1 run (run failed), 2:08.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing — Saint Joseph’s, Jordan 16-99, Hall 1-75, Banks 11-63, Ogletree 10-46, Pulley 1-0. Lincoln, Simeon 14-123, McCallop 5-35, Campbell 7-29, Foster 6-22, Snell 6-18, Daniels 4-16, Keller 15-10, Henderson 2-7, Simmons 1-3, Brock 1-(-3), Springer 4-(-22).

Passing — Saint Joseph’s, Ogletree 5-6-0 65, Hladik 3-3-0 16. Lincoln, Foster 3-6-0 83, Springer 1-5-0 44, Keller 0-2-0 0. Receiving — Saint Joseph’s, Stephens 3-16, Chapman 2-38, Gonzales 1-20, Rouba 1-4, Barnes 1-3. Lincoln, Snell 1-44, Lester-Spencer 1-43, Brock 1-29, Coleman 1-11.

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