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Arkansas State Holds Off Lindenwood in a D1A Smackdown

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Arkansas State Holds Off Lindenwood in a D1A Smackdown

Arkansas State and Lindenwood from 2023.

Arkansas State, ranked #8 in the CRAA D1A Power Rankings and #9 by GRR defeated Lindenwood (ranked #2 by both rankings) 13-7 on a wild, windy day at Curt Huckaby Field in Jonesboro, Ark.

This was a low-scoring match and both teams defended their line through the game as it was a nailbiter with two minutes left. The urgency to halt scoring chances was high energy throughout.

About 14 minutes into the game Lindenwood  was penalized for entering the ruck from the side. Flyhalf Warrick Day kicked to touch and from just outside the 22 ASU won the lineout and moved it quickly.

The Red Wolves probed the middle once and then sent it wide where fullback Jame Beauclerk took the pass and sped in from about 20 meters to score in the corner.

The score remained 5-0 until halftime. Lindenwood had a couple of chances right after the try but a couple of big defensive players from lock Evan Roode and also from Beauclerk kept Lindenwood scoreless.

The Lions maul worked well but the A-State forwards held them, while both wings Kobe Millar and Nick Hardrict II got the ball they were given very little space with which to work.

Late in the first half a loose ball was toed ahead by ASU but flanker Calvin Ihrig got on his horse and hoofe it back to slide onto the ball and save the day for Lindenwood.

ASU had another goalline stand later in the first half and defended superbly.

Lindenwood Adjusts

In the second half Lindenwood were back on the attack but had all kinds of trouble find time and space to get some momentum. Hardrict finally did have a run to the corner but was hit close to the line and lost the ball.

Lindenwood, frustrated, were guilty of a high tackle and referee Kat Roche showed a yellow card to prop Asher Webb. However ASU muffed the ensuing lineout and Lindenwood was able to clear away.

About midway through the second half, Lindenwood was finally about the break through. 

A brilliant kick from freshman back Dylan Forword after a bit of a kick exchange set up a lineout for ASU deep in their 22. Ihrig stole the throw brilliantly. The ball was sent to lock Eduan Van Heerden who ran a cutback and almost made the line. The forwrads swarmed in and consolidated, and it was Van Heerden who picked up and snaked over. Forward converted and Lindenwood had a 7-5 lead.

It was the result of a smart tactical substitution, putting Forword in to counter ASU’s kicking as he has a deft touch with the boot.

The Reply

But ASU had an answer.

Moments later Roode surged through the middle and then reserve flanker Romain Geniez was free down the sideline almost to the lone. He was dragged down and subsequently the Red Wolves spun it wide and into the corner went wing Ned Madden.

Just like that the Red Wolves had snatched the lead back. The kick was away but ASU led 10-7.

Lindenwood of course looked to get back into ASU territory but a scrum penalty put them back in their own 22. The Red Wolves probed the Lindenwood defense but the hits came hard and fast. Unfortunately for the Lions, they were penaltized in the middle of the field about 23 meters out and Day lined up the kick and put it over. It was a crucial penalty goal because now, with the score 13-7, a penalty would not tie it for Lindenwood and a try would need to be converted.

ASU closed out the game smartly. They used the kicking game to lengthen the field for Lindenwood and the Lions had no real incursions into the Red Wolves 22. 

With time probably up on the clock ASU opted for a sho at goal from long range. It seemed like a good idea—make the kick and the game is probably over and ASU had a slightly larger winning margin. Miss and the ball probably rolls dead and the game is over anyway.

The kick from Day hit the post. Lindenwood had one more shot. They gamely work the ball and looked to find Millar on the wing. However, the pass to him was forward, and the game was over.

Day, Beauclerk, and Roode were outstanding on the afternoon, and this result rockets Arkansas State to near the top of anybody’s list in D1A. For Lindenwood, this is certainly not the end of the world, but it is a sobering reminder of the quality of the top teams out there.

"You're always going to have to front-up physically against Lindenwood," said ASU Head Coach Dominic Shaw. "For us we knew we had to stick to our structure and we believed we were going to win. I don't have words for it ... I am super proud of the boys. We've got a really good attack but you didn't see it much because we made errors. But we train defense a lot. If there's one thing we can take to the bank. We didn't play the phases the way we normally play and Lindenwood defended us quite hard. In these games whether you win ugly or you win pretty in these games you just need to get the result. For both of us it was really hard to score from inside our half. It was a tough game to referee and Kat in the middle was really really good."