The Trinity Bible College Lions were coming off a bye week with a record of 3-4 and a 2-1 record at home. The Lions have proven they play tough at home this season. They welcomed Dakota College-Bottineau, who they played earlier in the season in Bottineau, ND and lost 41-32.
Dakota College won the toss and chose to defer to the second half, so the Lions got the ball to start the game. The Lions would set the tone for the game with an eight play, 70 yard drive taking two minutes and 56 seconds to score on their first possession. The drive was finished off with a Brandon Welch (Orlando, FL) 22 yard touchdown pass to Barry Bighorn (Culbertson, MT). With a successful extra point try the Lions were up 7-0. The Lions would add another touchdown after recovering a Dakota College fumble. The touchdown came on a Jason Elliott (Thedford, NE) 12 yard run, after a failed extra point the Lions moved their lead to 13-0. Dakota College would then turn the ball over on an interception by James Cintron (Orlando, FL). The Lions would capitalize on the mistake with a three play, 23 yard drive finished by Brandon Welch throwing his second touchdown pass of the first quarter, this time a 23 yards to Shean Bosworth (Winchester, IN). After the failed two point conversion try the Lions held a 19 – 0 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was a little quieter offensively, seeing only one touchdown. Dakota College finally found the end zone with 54 seconds left in the first half. The Lumberjacks took 11 plays going 65 yards to score on a Darius Bowers five yard run. They would make the extra point try and narrow the Lions lead going into halftime 19 to 7.
The Lions would come out in the third quarter and cause another Lumberjack fumble this one being recovered by Jose Casanova (Weslaco, TX). It would then take the Lions only two plays score; Brandon Welch would throw his third touchdown of the game, a 13 yard pass to Khalil Ervin (Philadelphia, PA). Another missed extra point for the Lions would move their lead to 25 to 7 going into the fourth and final quarter.
The Lumberjacks would score first in the fourth quarter after intercepting Brandon Welch. They would put together a three play, 49 yard drive finished off with a four yard touchdown pass from Jose Sanchez to Keith Osgood. Dakota College would miss the extra point try bringing the score to 25 – 13. The Lions would put the finishing touches on the win with an eight play 88 yard drive finished by a five yard touchdown pass from Bryan Clark (Long Beach, CA) to Khalil Ervin.
The 31 – 13 win over Dakota College- Bottineau moves the Lions to 4-4 on the season and 3-1 at home. The Lions were led in the win by a strong showing by their Defense. The defense caused seven Lumberjack turnovers, four interceptions and three fumbles. Jose Casanova and Cole White led the Lions defense. Jose Casanova tallied eight total tackles with two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery, and Cole White (Grass Valley, CA) also had eight total tackles and a fumble recovery. Four Lion defenders had interceptions on the day Jerome Lowery (Apopka, FL), Josh Conner (Nebraska City, NE), James Cintron (Orlando, FL) and Micah Reed (Grand Rapids, MN). Brandon Welch went 10 of 30, throwing for 240 yards and three touchdowns, while Jason Elliott led the lions in rushing with 11 carries for 80 yards. Khalil Ervin had a big day catching the ball for the Lions with six catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions have two games left on the season, both road games. Their next game is Saturday, November 5th in St. Paul, MN against Macalester College. Kick- off will be at 1pm. Then the Lions finish off their season with a rematch against Haskell Indian Nations University on Saturday, November 12th in Lawrence, KS.