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Lindsey Wilson Football battles Baker in NAIA quarterfinals today

FCS playoff quarterfinals today marks second year in row for Blue Raiders to reach quarterfinals
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By Charles Balcom
Sports from Lindsey Wilson College

COLUMBIA, KY - The No. 8-ranked Lindsey Wilson football team heads to Baldwin City, Kansas on Saturday for a NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinal showdown against No. 2-ranked Baker (KY), with kickoff scheduled for 2:36pm CT Saturday, November 26, 2016, at Liston Stadium, 115 Freemont Street, Baldwin City, KS.

The Blue Raiders (11-1) are in the national postseason for the third season in a row and are making the program's second-ever appearance in the national quarterfinals. Lindsey Wilson last played in the round of eight back in 2014, when the Blue Raiders fell on the road to Saint Xavier (IL).

Lindsey Wilson advanced to the playoff quarterfinals after defeating No. 10 Grand View (Iowa) in the FCS First Round in a back-and-forth affair that saw the Blue Raiders edge the Vikings 34-27 in overtime at Blue Raider Stadium. It was the Blue Raiders' first overtime victory since 2013 and secured the 11th win on the year, the most in a single season in program history.

In a game that featured six lead changes, the Vikings twice saw their drives with less than six minutes to play and the score tied stall around midfield as the game went into overtime.

On the first overtime possession, Jalen Sublett punched it in from seven yards out to put the Blue Raiders ahead. A fumbled snap and a sack put Grand View in a fourth and 26 scenario where the final pass attempt fell harmlessly to the ground as Lindsey Wilson secured the victory.

Dylan Beasley threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a rushing score en route to being named the Offensive Player of the Game. D'Andre Hart had 11 tackles - three for a loss - and had a sack as he picked up Defensive Player of the Game honors.

Lindsey Wilson brings in a high-powered aerial offense that ranks third in the nation in total scoring offense (580), third in third down conversions (50.7), fourth in pass efficiency (176.1), sixth in scoring offense per game (48.3) and eighth in total offensive yards per game (493.2).

Baker (12-0) is one of three remaining undefeated teams this season. The Wildcats are making their ninth all-time appearance in the national quarterfinals including their second straight.

Baker defeated No. 13 Sterling (KS) 44-21 in the NAIA First Round on Saturday to reach the final eight. The Wildcats scored the first 24 points of the game and never looked back as they forced Sterling into four turnovers on the day. Cornell Brown racked up 271 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns en route to being named the Offensive Player of the Game. Nick Becker tied a school record with four sacks and had seven tackles for loss en route to being named the Defensive Player of the Game.

Baker also brings a highly-touted aerial attack to the contest as the Wildcats lead the NAIA in total pass offense with 4,509 total passing yards. Baker ranks second in pass offense per game (375.8), first downs per game (26.7) and total scoring offense (611). The Wildcats average over 550 yards of offense and 50 points per game, while protecting the pocket by allowing just 12 sacks all season long.

Logan Brettell leads the nation with 4,150 total passing yards. Brown has accounted for more points (162) than any other player this season in the NAIA and Darrain Winston leads the nation with nine interceptions.

Saturday's meeting is the first between the two programs. Lindsey Wilson is 2-2 all-time in the national postseason while Baker is 14-14.

This story was posted on 2016-11-26 04:15:59
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