#1 Lindsey Wilson (6-1) 24 at #8 Reinhardt Eagles (8-0) 42
Ken White Field Waleska, Georgia
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Written By: Kraig Doremus and Lauren Mullinax
The #8 Reinhardt Eagles welcomed #1 Lindsey Wilson to town this past weekend for homecoming. The Eagles remain a perfect 8-0 after defeating the then top-ranked Blue Raiders 42-24 in the NAIA game of the week. The win allowed the Eagles to gain two spots in the standings, rising to #6, while Lindsey Wilson fell to #8.
When the Eagles Had the Ball
Reinhardt never trailed against Lindsey Wilson, and Niagel Curtis set a program record scoring five rushing touchdowns, while also running for a game-high 129 yards. Curtis scored the game’s first touchdown just three minutes into the opening quarter, capping an 8 play, 66 yard drive. A mere 2:47 later, quarterback Ryan Thompson completed a screen pass to Tyler Bradley, who sprinted 46 yards down the sideline and into the endzone. The two touchdowns gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead and after a quick Lindsey Wilson score, Curtis answered with his second touchdown of the game to make the score 21-7 in favor of the home team. At the end of the first quarter, Reinhardt led 21-14 and from there the Eagles outscored the Blue Raiders 21-10.
Reinhardt’s final three scores all came via Niagel Curtis. Curtis scampered into the endzone from four yards out early in the second quarter to give Reinhardt a two-touchdown lead, which it took into halftime. He scored twice in the fourth quarter, with his fourth touchdown of the game coming on a four-yard rush, while his final score was a one-yard run. Curtis’ 129 rushing yards led RU, which ran the ball 71 times for an impressive 327 yards.
Junior quarterback Ryan Thompson completed 15 of 22 passes for 246 yards. Thompson completed five passes each to juniors Tyler Bradley and Aaron Kennedy. Bradley led the Eagles in receiving with 126 yards and one score, while Kennedy gained 48 receiving yards of his own.
In all, Reinhardt gained 573 yards of offense on 93 plays. The Eagles converted 9 of 16 third downs and all three fourth down attempts.
For the first time this year the Lindsey Wilson defense allowed its opponent to score over 20 points in a game when Reinhardt scored its third touchdown of the day with the game still in the first quarter. The Blue Raiders simply could not make the big stops whenever they needed them the most. Michael Brooks led the Lindsey Wilson defense with 9 ½ tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one sack.
When the Blue Raiders Had the Ball
Lindsey Wilson had moments when it shined on offense, however, the squad could not maintain a rhythm throughout the game. The Blue Raiders hung in with the Eagles of Reinhardt through the end of the first quarter after quarterback Dylan Beasley found wide receiver Josh Haney for a 26-yard touchdown and Jalen Sublett ran one in from one yard out pulling the Blue Raiders within a touchdown at 21-14.
Lindsey Wilson would get to the red zone twice in the second and third quarters, only to stall and pick up a mere 3 points off a made field goal attempt, making the score 28-17 heading into the fourth. The Blue Raiders scored one more touchdown on the day as Beasley found wide receiver Hunter Lovell in stride to put seven on the board, leaving the Blue Raiders defeated 42-24 after a successful extra point. Beasley ended the day with 402 total yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Reinhardt had an outstanding game defensively, surrendering just 24 points to a Blue Raider squad that typically averages 37 points per game. Freshman defensive back Quincy Standifer led the Eagles with nine tackles, six of those being unassisted. Standifer was credited with 1.5 tackles for a loss. Sophomore Marcus Miller and junior Tyler Martin each had eight tackles for Reinhardt. The Eagles intercepted Lindsey Wilson quarterback Dylan Beasley twice, with both INT’s coming in the fourth quarter. Junior defensive back DJ Brown picked off Beasley with just under five minutes remaining, while Calvin Robertson stopped the final Blue Raider drive, intercepting the ball in the final minute and allowing the Eagles to run out the clock and seal the victory.
Keys to the Game
Reinhardt did an outstanding job of not letting Joe Lewis II, the talented Lindsey Wilson cornerback, near the ball. Lewis entered the contest with three interceptions but did not pick off Reinhardt quarterback Ryan Thompson.
The Eagles used a balance offensive attack to defeat the Blue Raiders. Reinhardt rushed for 327 yards, while passing for 246. By mixing up the play calling, Reinhardt was able to keep the Lindsey Wilson defense guessing and soundly defeat the Blue Raiders.
RU also managed to contain Lindsey Wilson sophomore quarterback Dylan Beasley. Although he completed 26 of 40 passes, the Eagles only allowed Beasley to throw one touchdown pass, while forcing him to throw two pivotal late-game interceptions.
The Sports Studies crew has a prediction record of 8-0.
The 6th ranked Reinhardt Eagles have a bye week before traveling to face the 20th ranked Campbellsville University Tigers. Kickoff is set for 12 noon EST from Citizens Bank Field on Saturday, November 7, 2015.