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Big Second Half Sees Lindenwood Past McKendree

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Big Second Half Sees Lindenwood Past McKendree

Lindenwood moves the ball. Alex Goff photo.

Midwest D1A Conference powerhouse Lindenwood University hosted an intense game on its home turf at Hunter Stadium on March 22 against the McKendree Bearcats. The final score of 44-12 underscored a satisfying victory for the Lions.

The game started off fairly even in the first half, as the teams traded tries and the Lions led only by the slim margin of 15-12.

However, on a cold, wintry evening in St. Charles, a young Lindenwood XV hit McKendree for five tries and a 44-12 victory.

The key momentum shift came early in the second half. With the score still 15-12, Lindenwood bottled McKendree up in their 22. They finally earned a penalty and opted for the lineout and driving maul, putting it over to lead 20-12. That marked the beginning of a sequence that saw the Lions firmly taking control of the game.

The try-scoring flurry was led by Emilio Carranza and Pato Mas, then swiftly followed by Ben Crosby, Mark Barbour, Gavin Richards, Charlie Kirkpatrick, Emanuele Tani, Brendan Mullin, Jack Cahill, and Marcus Robinson.

Lindenwood flyhalf Gavin Richards earned recognition for his pivotal role in directing the team's attack, while flanker Curtis Smith was commended for his tireless defensive work rate. Lock Will Blowers' demonstration of leadership and determination further added to the collective effort. For McKendree, lock and later No. 8 Ollie Aylmer was very effective and athletic while No. 8 Will Wickens and local product Eli Wheaton also show plenty of ability.

Carranza, a key try-scorer, described the game as "unreal" and acknowledged the slow start in the first half, but he enjoyed the team's stellar second-half performance. Lindenwood Head Coach Josh Macy remarked on the necessary mid-game adjustments by emphasizing the importance of minimizing penalties and the strategic shift to test McKendree's defense out wide.

Looking ahead, the Lindenwood Lions will be waiting for playoff seedings to be announced, but before then they host Adrian on Saturday in their final regular-season game.

Emilio Carranza and Gavin Richards talk about the responsibility of being Lindenwood's go-to guys.

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