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Lindenwood-Belleville Avenges Against Iowa CCC

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Lindenwood-Belleville Avenges Against Iowa CCC

Photo Lindenwood-Belleville Athletics

Lindenwood-Belleville avenged an earlier loss to Iowa Central Community College, beating the Tritons Wednesday 33-16 and making something of a statement, or two.

The teams changed ends almost tied, with the Lynx leading the Tritons 18-16. Then Belleville shut out Iowa CCC 15-0 in the second half to pull away.

This reverses September 11's 72-7 Iowa CCC victory. In that earlier game, Lindenwood-Belleville has seven potential starters either injured or on the bench. Head Coach Joe Lippert paid for putting a young squad on the field, as a very talented Tritons team torched the Lynx early and often, establishing a lead that couldn't be overcome.

Lippert took a picture of the scoreboard from that game to remind the players of the loss.

"We told the guys to remember this, and then we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said. "The loss was part having inexperienced freshmen in there, and also just not being as sharp as we can be on the things we're good at."

Defense has been a priority all season, but especially after that game.

"We definitely tightened up some things on defense," said Lippert. "We have made a conscious effort to work on it for the last season and-a-half, and the boys put the work in. This time, even though they have a potent attack, we did what we needed to do to keep them in check."

Lindenwood-Belleville is smaller than they were a year ago, but they've evolved into a quick game, getting to the breakdown quickly and working the wide channels. This all seemed to work nicely on Wednesday. It didn't hurt that Coleson Warner, the team captain and key playmaker, was back and healthy.

Warner got the Lynx on the board early with a penalty, and the teams traded penalty kicks in the first few minutes. Then Cameron Grause went over for a try that Warner converted for a 13-3 Lindenwood-Belleville lead after 12 minutes. Iowa Central edged closer with a penalty, and then scored the tea's only try of the day late in the first half to tie the game 13-13. 

The Lynx answered though Evian Malik Akers. Iowa Central kicked another penalty, leaving it at 18-16 at the break.

But in the second half, Lindenwood-Belleville's defense shut down the Tritons.

Darious Palmer scored on a long winding run from 80 meters out, which Waner converted for a 26-16 lead. And then in the final minutes Warner hit a penalty, and Kyle Hopcraft iced it with a try.

It was senior night at Lindenwood-Belleville, in this the final season for the program as the school is closing its undergraduate campus at the end of the school year. This was a meaningful win then for the players finishing up their time with Lynx rugby. It also showed that Lindenwood-Belleville is serious as a contender for a DIAA playoff spot.

As for Iowa Central, the loss won't hurt the team's standing in DII (if the team stays in DII), but it's worth noting that they are beatable, and any thoughts of the Tritons being invincible, and therefore more proper for DIAA, might have been put to bed.