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NAIA Quarterfinals: LWC Football's comeback effort falls just short . . .

. . . in 34-29 loss to No. 5 Southern Oregon before Blue Raider Stadium
Blue Raiders hopes high in 4th Quarter when LWC comeback gave team lead, briefly, but SORU TD and forced turnover helped visiting Raiders to the upset win. Attendance was high on a perfect Blue Sky 25 November Day: 1,203 saw world class football at Blue Raider Stadium in Columbia. The LWC senior class closes the book on its Lindsey Wilson playing career as the most successful class in the program's history. The senior class produced a 40-8 overall record -- including two 11-win seasons -- and four consecutive trips to the Football Championship Series.
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By Chris Wells, LWC Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, KY - (Sat 25 Nov 2017) An 11-point halftime deficit and two turnovers proved to be too much for fourth-ranked Lindsey Wilson football to overcome in a 34-29 loss to No. 5 Southern Oregon in the NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinals on Saturday at Blue Raider Stadium.

Lindsey Wilson closes its season at 11-1. Southern Oregon advances to the national semifinals to play Reinhardt (GA) next Saturday in Waleska, GA.

The Blue Raiders erased a 28-17 fourth-quarter deficit to take its first lead (29-28) of the day with 6:16 left in regulation. But a Southern Oregon (12-0) touchdown in the final minute and a forced turnover in the final 10 seconds helped the visiting Raiders to the upset win.

Southern Oregon's Michael Roots scored from the two-yard line to push the Raider lead to 28-17 six seconds into the fourth quarter. It was the first time during the season Lindsey Wilson trailed in the final quarter.

Jared Dougherty connected on a 48-yard field goal with 9:59 left to trim the deficit to 28-20. The field goal was Dougherty's second of the day and his program single-season record ninth of the season.

Following a Southern Oregon mistake on the kickoff that left the Raiders inside their own one-yard line, the Lindsey Wilson defense stuffed Rey Vega for a safety to cut SOU lead to 28-22.

Dylan Beasley orchestrated an 8-play 80-yard drive on the next Lindsey Wilson possession to nudge the Blue Raiders in front 29-28. Beasley -- who threw for a game-high 344 yards and three touchdowns -- found Jay Gaudlock near the right, front pylon for the score. The 300-yard passing game is Beasley's program-record 13th of his career. Gaudlock posted four catches for 51 yards and the score.

The Lindsey Wilson defense -- that held Southern Oregon to just 124 yards of total offense in the second half -- forced a punt with just under five minutes left in the game.

The Blue Raider offense managed one first down following the punt but ultimately had to give the ball back to Southern Oregon with 2:15 left in the game.

Southern Oregon reclaimed the lead with 47 seconds left on a Vega six-yard run to push the Raiders back in front 34-29.

Lindsey Wilson needed just two plays -- covering 58 yards -- to reach the Southern Oregon 23-yard line. But a sack and strip of the ball and subsequent Southern Oregon recovery secured the win for the visitors.

Vega scored the game's first touchdown on the game's opening drive to give Southern Oregon the 7-0 lead. Tanner Trosin added a touchdown toss to Chase Cole in the waning seconds of the first quarter to give the Raiders the 14-0 lead entering the second quarter.

Dougherty made a 38-yard field and Beasley threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Charles Gaines with 7:11 left in the first half to trim the Southern Oregon lead to 14-10.

The Raiders tacked on a touchdown just before the half as Trosin found Isaac Hurd for a score to give Southern Oregon a 21-10 lead at the break.

Needing to snatch the momentum, Lindsey Wilson scored on its opening drive of the second half. Beasley found Blake Ingleton out of the backfield for an 18-yard touchdown to cut the Southern Oregon lead to 21-17.

Southern Oregon extended the lead back to 11 points with the Roots score.

Southern Oregon finished the game with a slight advantage in total yards, 427-421. The Raider defense produced five sacks to hold the Lindsey Wilson ground attack to just 50 yards. Southern Oregon leads the NAIA in sacks this season with 55-1/2.

Mikey Davis led the Blue Raider receivers with 113 receiving yards -- his first career 100-yard receiving game. Tyrone Stallard added a game-high six catches for 68 yards.

Joe Lewis finished with a team-high nine tackles and two sacks for the Blue Raider defense. Devvon Gage led Southern Oregon with 12 tackles, including 2-1/2 tackles for a loss.

The LWC senior class closes the book on its Lindsey Wilson playing career as the most successful class in the program's history. The senior class produced a 40-8 overall record -- including two 11-win seasons -- and four consecutive trips to the Football Championship Series.

This story was posted on 2017-11-26 02:03:50
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LWC Blue Raiders rebounded and led briefly in NAIA Quarterfinals

2017-11-26 - Blue Raider Stadium, 928 Russell Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener,
For the past two weekends, Blue Raider Stadium, Columbia has been the site of NAIA national football series playoffs, drawing huge crowds to the community. When this photo was taken it looked as though the skein was in danger, with the score 17-21 the wrong way, late in the 3rd Quarter. Minutes later, the most successful Blue Raider Team - nationally No. 4 - ever, recaptured the lead. But, in the end, were upset by visiting No. 5 ranked Southern Oregon University.

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