St. Charles, Mo – Opening the Lindenwood football season on Thursday night the Lindenwood Lions opened their season against Washburn University. Both universities began their season with a similar situation, both had new D-1 transfer starting quarterbacks.
The first half saw a battle of defenses as neither team was able to get into any rhythm. Washburn quarterback Derek McGinnis was constantly under pressure from a much improved Lindenwood pass rush that would end up with four sacks by the games end, but if not for the illusiveness of McGinnis would have been closer to eight sacks. For Washburn in the first half all six possessions ended in punts.
Lindenwood’s offense led by newcomer Jessie Scoggins (the III as he points out) at quarterback had numerous false starts by receivers and had two trips to the red-zone both end in blocked field goals.
Going into the half, it was tied at 0-0.
The game began to heat up after halftime adjustments took place as the running backs for Washburn slowly gained respectable yards in the running game leading to the games first touchdown at the 12:07 marker of the third quarter. McGinnis found a nice window in the far corner of the end-zone to wide receiver Jordan Hart which made it 7-0 after the PAT.
Lindenwood would respond thanks to a great drive led by Scoggins with a four-play 40-yard drive that was capped off with a 17-yard run by Scroggins, who had blockers pave a hole for him to dive into the end-zone making it 7-7 entering the fourth quarter.
Scroggins said about the play, “Honestly it was one of those plays that just kind of [happened], the tight end made a good play, I made a good play, the running back did too, it all just worked out. Greg Coble had the block to lead me into the end-zone.”
Things began to heat up in the fourth quarter:
At this point the game momentum seemed up for grabs. Both teams had been moving the ball much better than in the first half and it seemed one play could break it open to either teams advantage. Enter cornerback Bakari Triggs, who was in a perfect position for an interception and pick-six to open up a 13-7 lead with 11:22 to go in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the third time that game, the special teams was a let down, the extra point was blocked to make it three blocks against Lindenwood’s special teams.
Asking Triggs after the game about the pick-six, he gave the credit to his coaches, “coach just put me in a great position to make a play, he had the coverage set up for us and I was able to make a play.”
The rebuttal from Washburn came as McGinnis had another touchdown pass, this time to Sam Eickhoff with 9:42 left in the game. They converted the PAT to make it 14-13 Washburn.
As the teams battled back and fourth time wore down with Washburn on the move. With a chance to convert a field goal from the Lidenwood 25-yard line, and make it a four-point lead a missed snap caused a turnover on downs at the Lindenwood 39-yard line and it gave Lindenwood possession with 1:44 to go in the game.
Scroggins caught fire in the final drive. He hit Tre Roby for a 20-yard completion, then Greg Coble for a quick 12 right after that to put the Lions on the Washburn 3-yard line. Some busted plays and the Lions had a third down and seven yards to go with :23 to go. Scroggins took the snap, scrambled when the pocket begun to collapse and saw Coble open in the back of the end-zone for the game winning score. The PAT was good. Lindenwood would win 20-14 to go to (1-0) on the young season.
When asking coach Patrick Ross about his new quarterback (Scroggins) impact so far, “his personality fits mine extremely well so it’s really fun for me having him around, and have him as our quarterback… he’s the guy who has 110 guys in that locker room that have his back because he plays and the emotion he plays with and the toughness he plays. We need that in our program.”