The Lions defense was the only stable part of the team in their 16-2 loss to Incarnate Word in Hammond, Louisiana, on Nov. 7. The loss to the Cardinals sent the Lions to a 3-4 conference record (4-5 overall) and ended their hopes for winning the Southland Conference for a third consecutive season.
The defense got off to a poor start due to back to back turnovers from the Lion offense in their own territory. The defense gave up a touchdown to the Cardinals offense on the very first drive. The Cardinals started on the Lions own three yard line and just two plays later ran it in for a touchdown. The defense held the Cardinals to a field goal on the second drive, but the Lions were already down 10-0 with 13:01 remaining in the first quarter.
The defense continued to pressure the Cardinal offense, giving up just nine more points to Incarnate Word. The pass defense was stiff all game, allowing only 178 yards to opposing quarterback Trent Brittain. Senior cornerback Denzel Thompson intercepted a 22 yard pass from Brittain in the Lions’ territory and returned it to their own 29 yard line.
The run defense had some solid play as they held running back Sean Flannel to just 46 yards on 18 carries and 22 yards to Dorland Fields on 14 carries. The defense did give up a 58 yard run by quarterback Trent Brittain, but otherwise held the run game in check.
Many of the seniors for the Lions’ defense stood out and made big plays against the Cardinals.
Senior linebacker Herbert Harris led the team with 14 tackles followed by senior JQ Sandolph with 11. Both starting defensive lineman, Ashton Henderson and AJ Bowen tallied a sack for the Lions. Senior defensive back Harlan Miller saved the Lions three points by blocking a field goal midway through the third quarter.
Head coach Ron Roberts said the loss was pretty disappointing. He said, “It wasn’t a shocker because that’s the way we’ve played the last 4 of 5 games. I don’t think we resemble the team we started with”.
To review more statistics from Saturday’s game, check out lionsports.net.