Lincoln roars to 51-28 victory over Southwest Baptist

Lincoln running back Morris Henderson slips past Southwest Baptist defensive back Karre’ Wallace and breaks free for a first down Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.

Lincoln running back Morris Henderson slips past Southwest Baptist defensive back Karre’ Wallace and breaks free for a first down Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City. Photo by Kris Wilson.

It was the perfect way to end the season.

The Lincoln Blue Tigers set all sorts of records in their 51- 28 victory against Southwest Baptist on Saturday afternoon at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.

Lincoln scored 27 fourthquarter points and racked up 452 rushing yards while sending out its 20 seniors on a high note on Senior Day.

One of those seniors — Morris Henderson — earned 137 of those rushing yards to finish with 1,266 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.

His yardage breaks the Lincoln single-season mark of 1,239, set by legendary LU running back Leo Lewis back in 1952. Henderson ends the year with an average per carry of 6.7 yards, which also breaks the 1952 single-season mark of 5.9, previously held by Lewis.

Lincoln junior quarterback Jacob Morris joined in on the record-setting fun after rushing for four scores and completing 12 passes for 182 yards.

Both those marks put Morris as Lincoln’s all-time single season leader in each category. Morris ends the year with 2,076 passing yards, making him the first Blue Tiger quarterback ever to throw for 2,000 yards in a season and breaking Steve Bohlken’s 1988 record of 1,939.

With 173 completions on the year, Morris breaks his own mark of 169, set last season. Finally, Morris ends his junior campaign with a completion percentage of .571, breaking Bill Swats’ 1982 season record of .558.

Maurice Woodard caught six passes for 56 yards to finish his fourth and final season with 143 receptions, making him Lincoln’s career leader in that category.

Freshman kicker Andrew Fishel, who successfully converted 35 point-after tries this year, broke Gerald Walker’s 1964 record of 29, adding to his single-season record for points by a kicker with a field goal and six successful PATs to give him 53 points on the year.

Individual accomplishments weren’t the only thing for Lincoln to boast about Saturday.

The Blue Tigers closed out the season with back-to-back wins to reach 3-8 on the season and 2-8 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play. A Lincoln team hasn’t reached that many wins or won consecutive contests since 2003. You have to go all the way back to 1973 to find the last time Lincoln picked up two straight MIAA wins, as the Blue Tigers toppled Central Missouri and Truman State that season.

Lincoln’s whopping 51 points are the most the Blue Tigers have posted since a 52-27 victory against Southwest Missouri in 1972.

The season caps off another record-breaking year for the Lincoln offense, which broke season records for total offense (4,917 yards) and plays from scrimmage (833). The win also comes in Lincoln’s final game as a football member of the MIAA, as the Blue Tigers will move to the Great Lakes Valley Conference for that sport only starting in 2014. Saturday’s opponent, Southwest Baptist (1-10, 1-9 MIAA), will also be moving to the GLVC next season.

As far as the game, Lincoln opened up a 14-0 advantage following a pair of 1-yard runs from Morris and Henderson in the opening period. Southwest Baptist closed the gap to 14-7 after one quarter on a 3-yard run from Marc Strickland. The Bearcats took a 21-14 lead on a 57-yard punt return from Drew Lauderdale and a 7-yard touchdown pass from Joey Dominguez to Evan Ray.

Morris’ second TD run of the game, this one from 5 yards out, knotted the score at 21 at halftime.

Fishel booted a 37-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to put Lincoln ahead 24-21 before Southwest Baptist responded with a 2-yard TD run from Strickland to make it 28-24 late in the third stanza.

Lincoln then owned the fourth quarter, holding a 27-0 edge in the final period. Morris scurried in from 24 yards out early in the fourth to put Lincoln ahead 31-28. Percy Turner made it 37-28 just 91 seconds later on a 43- yard run. Isam Pegues found the end zone from 7 yards out before Morris scored for the fourth and final time from 4 yards out.

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