The defense held on Crown’s first possession, stopping the Storm inside of the Lions’ 10 yard line. But following a turnover, Crown took a 7-0 lead. The Storm got up 14-0 late in the first quarter before Freshman quarterback Clint Linthicum connected with freshman wide receiver Brandon Welch for a 77 yard touchdown. Kiah Jackson hit the extra point. This cut the lead in half at 7-14. Unfortunately, this is as close as the Lions would get, as Crown would go on a scoring run before the Lions were again able to find the end zone with 2:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Linthicum once again capped off an 11 play, 75 yard scoring drive by finding Kendrick Berry for a 14 yard score on a dazzling play by the young freshman Quarterback and just as equally dazzling run after the catch by the Sophomore Berry. Jackson again added the extra point bringing the final score to 14-63.
As a team, the Lions rushed for 71 yards and passed for 256 yards in the contest. Quinton Hight rushed for 33 yards, while Linthicum would tally 33 yards in the loss. Linthicum passed for 256 yards on 16 completions with 2 touchdowns for the Lions. Berry caught 6 of those completions for a total of 88 yards and a touchdown. Welch ended the game with 3 receptions for 86 yards. Clay Emerson and Hight both caught 2 passes for 38 and 21 yards, respectively.
Defensively, the Lions were led in tackles by Kyle Swanson and Joel Sandoz, who both tallied 10 tackles in the game. Jason Sypes forced a fumble in the 3rd quarter that Andrew Lauber was able to recover for Crown’s only turnover. Fatir Pillow recorded 7 tackles in the game. Nate Fitzer had a sack for a loss of 6 yards for the Lions.
Coach Morgan had this to say: “We had a lot of good moments in the game. Not having Nathan Foster really hurt us on both sides of the ball. We had to move a lot of people around this week. Kendrick Berry really stepped up and played well. It was really good to see him get involved in the offense. All of the pieces are there; we just need to bring it all together on the same day. We have to get to a point where we stop turning the ball over. Until we get to that point, we are going to continue to see our defense put in bad spots. That day is not far off though! These youngsters are getting better every week!’
The encouraged Morgan will look to lead the young Lions against Martin Luther College this upcoming Saturday in New Ulm, Minnesota before finally returning home for homecoming and the 60th Anniversary Celebration on the 3rd of Oct. to take on MSU-Bottineau.