Miners can't overcome early deficit.
A slow start put Missouri S&T's football team into a hole it wasn't able to escape from Saturday night, as Lindenwood handed the Miners a 27-10 setback at Harlen Hunter Stadium.
Six turnovers – four of them in the first half - helped put the Miners into a 17-point deficit in the early stages of the game and held them back in their efforts to get back into the contest.
The Lions scored on the opening possession of the game on James Neal's 22-yard field goal, then forced the first of the four first half turnovers when Pierre Desir intercepted a Reed Brown pass deep in Lion territory. Five plays after the interception, Dillon Miller connected with Jaron Alexander for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
Later in the quarter, D'Andre Green picked off a Brown pass and returned it 15 yards for a score to push the Lions' lead to 17-0.
Despite the four turnovers, the defense held firm in keeping Lindenwood off the scoreboard for the balance of the first half and the Miners got their first scoring drive completed right before it ended.
Beginning at their own 30, the Miners used five first downs to drive down the field and after Leon Moody caught a pass from Brown to reach the Lions' one-yard line, Brown took it in himself to get S&T on the scoreboard with 14 seconds remaining in the half.
Early in the third quarter, the Lions recovered a Miner fumble at the S&T 12-yard line, but the Miners thwarted that threat when Chris Horn intercepted a Miller pass at the six. After the teams traded possessions, the Miners put together another impressive drive, this one starting from their own 20, to cut into the Lion lead again in the third quarter.
Thanks in part to a 36-yard run by Moody, S&T drove to the Lindenwood 16 and got three points out of the 64-yard drive on a 33-yard field goal by Adam Peden in the final minute of the quarter.
However, Lindenwood was able to extend its lead with a drive that included a 22-yard pass to Jordan Gater and a 21-yard throw to Tyrian Taylor that moved the Lions to the Miners' four; Marvin Byrd's three-yard scoring run at the 8:34 mark capped the drive.
Moments later, a fumbled snap on a punt gave the Lions the ball at the S&T 18-yard line and Neal booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Lions their final 17-point margin with 6:21 to go.
The Miners held a 322-to-298 advantage in the yardage department for the night. Brown completed 31-of-52 passes for 197 yards, with Moody catching 10 of the throws for 70 yards. Zenel Hudson, the reigning GLVC "Offensive Player of the Week," was held to 48 yards on 15 carries.
Miller was 21-of-40 for the Lions for 248 yards through the air for a unit that was ranked ninth in passing offense in NCAA Division II when the night began.
Mark Hopkins had seven tackles and an interception for the Miners and Horn also picked off a pass for S&T.
The Miners, who fell to 1-3 on the year, will open Great Lakes Valley Conference play next Saturday when they head back to the road to face defending league champion Indianapolis in a 6 p.m. (Eastern time) contest. The 22nd-ranked Greyhounds are 3-1 after beating Hillsdale 17-14 Saturday.
First downs: S&T 17, LU 16
Yards rushing: S&T 101, LU 73
Yards passing: S&T 197, LU 249
Total yards: S&T 298, LU 322
Passing: S&T 31-52, LU 21-40
Int. thrown: S&T 5, LU 2
Fumbles lost: S&T 1, LU 0
Penalties: S&T 2-9, LU 3-13
Punting: S&T 6-26.5, LU 5-42.2
The score by periods:
S&T 0 7 3 0-10
Lindenwood 17 0 0 10-27
The scoring plays:
Lindenwood: Neal 22-yard field goal (10:20).
Lindenwood: Alexander 36-yard pass from Miller, Neal kick (5:43).
Lindenwood: Green 15-yard interception return, Neal kick (1:27).
S&T: Brown 1-yard run, Peden kick (:14).
S&T: Peden 33-yard field goal (:57).
Lindenwood: Byrd 3-yard run, Neal kick (8:34).
Lindenwood: Neal 30-yard field goal (6:21).
Rushing: S&T - Hudson 15 for 48, Moody 1 for 44, Moore 6 for 16, Matthews 1 for minus-2, Brown 5 for minus-5. Lindenwood - Miller 3 for minus-24, Cade 6 for 19, Byrd 23 for 79, Roby 1 for minus-1.
Passing: S&T - Brown 31-52-197-5. Lindenwood - 21-40-249-2.
Receiving: S&T - Moody 10 for 70, Moore 2 for 6, Stovall 8 for 45, Taylor 2 for 23, Matthews 4 for 38, Hudson 5 for 15. Lindenwood - Robinson 5 for 47, Taylor 1 for 21, Alexander 5 for 88, Byrd 3 for 21, Roby 3 for 25, Gater 4 for 47.
Interceptions: S&T - Hopkins 1 for 1, Horn 1 for 88. Lindenwood - Wesley 2 for 27, Green 1 for 15, Desir 1 for 26, Hawthorne 1 for 0.
Sacks: S&T - Mauszycki 1 for 14, Racon 1 for 10. Lindenwood - Lawson 1 for 3, Butler 1 for 5.
Tackle Leaders: S&T - Hopkins 5 (solos)-2 (assists), W. Brown 5-1, Mauszycki 5-0, McKay 3-2, Emesih 4-1. Lindenwood - Chappelle 11-0; Koons 10-1.