BATESVILLE, Ark. – If the Lyon College football team wants to shock the CSFL and have a chance at moving to the top of the CSFL standings, it needs to put together four strong quarters Saturday night in front of its 2016 Homecoming crowd at Pioneer Stadium when the second-year Scots battle the defending Central States Football League champion Arizona Christian University Firestorm in a 'White Out' game.
The Firestorm (4-2), which is in first place in the CSFL with a spotless 3-0 conference mark, is receiving votes in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll this week. ACU is one-half game ahead of second-place Wayland Baptist University and just one game ahead of the Scots in the conference chase.
The contest, which kicks off at 6 p.m., will air (audio) on KZLE-FM Radio (93.1) and on the station's website (see below), with "Big Daddy" Randy Alan and Mark Lamberth bringing the live action. The pregame show will get underway at 5:30 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on the Scots Digital Network (see link below) for $9.95. Tickets will go on sale when gates open at 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $5, with children six and under admitted free. Tailgating is expected to be in full force by 4 p.m. This is also a 'White Out' game by the Lyon Student-Athlete Advisory Organization (SAAO), as fans are urged to wear white to the stadium.
FOLLOW THE GAME
For FREE live stats – CLICK HERE
For pay-per-view video/audio on Scots Digital Network ($9.95) – CLICK HERE
Listen to the game FREE on KZLE-FM (93.1) – CLICK HERE
Central States Football League Standings – CLICK HERE
Lyon College Results/Schedule – CLICK HERE
Lyon College Season Statistics – CLICK HERE
Lyon College Roster – CLICK HERE
Arizona Christian Results/Schedule – CLICK HERE
Arizona Christian Season Statistics – CLICK HERE
Arizona Christian Roster – CLICK HERE
AROUND THE CSFL
Other games Saturday in the Central States Football League include Wayland traveling to Tyler, Texas, to battle Texas College (0-6, 0-3 CSFL) at 2 p.m. and Langston (3-2, 1-1 CSFL) visiting Southwestern Assemblies of God University (2-5, 0-3 CSFL) at 2 p.m. In a non-conference matchup, Bacone College (2-5, 2-2 CSFL) will travel to Eastern New Mexico in a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Lyon College football team is still in control of its own destiny as it heads into the final three Central States Football League games of the season today... Lyon has won three of its last four games. The Scots are 2-1 in CSFL and have won two straight league games... Lyon is in third place in the conference standings, but only one game behind Saturday's opponent, Arizona Christian University... Wayland Baptist (5-1, 2-0 CSFL), is in second place, one-half game behind the Firestorm. Lyon takes on WBU next Saturday.
BOWLES, LYON RUSHING ATTACK ONE OF BEST
The Lyon ground game has been the force behind the team's success, as the Scots rank third in the nation (NAIA) in total rushing yards (2,027) and third in rushing yards per game (289.6)... Running back Michael Bowles (SR/Earle, Ark.) (pictured below, left) was first in the country in rushing yards before the bye week, but still ranks No. 3 with 915 yards on the season. He also ranks fifth in rushing yards per game (130.7), 11th in scoring (62) and all-purpose yards (1,026)... Tre Hawkins (SO/Houston, Texas) ranks first in the nation in total kickoff return yards (527) and ninth in yards per return (27.7)... Lyon is averaging 111.3 yards per game passing, while giving up 259.1 yards per game in the air and 196.3 on the ground... Dwane Robinson (SO/Palm Bay, Fla.) (pictured at bottom, left) has completed 59-of-107 passes (55.1%) for 585 yards, 4TDs and three interceptions… Bowles is the leading receiver with 18 receptions for 111 yards and two scores. Joe Mahe (JR/Makawao, Hawaii) has pulled in 12 for 107 yards.
SIZING UP THE FIRESTORM
Arizona Christian is currently on a three-game winning streak, having defeated Langston (34-10), Southwestern Assemblies of God (29-22) and Texas College (57-7) in its last three games. The Firestorm's last setback was at Davenport (Mich.), 20-7... ACU is averaging 176.8 yards per game on the ground and 280.2 yards in the air... The Firestorm defense is giving up 113.0 yards on the ground per game, along with 243.7 through the air... Quinta Thomas is the leading ground gainer for ACU, with 369 yards and four TDs. Justin Carroll is second with 252 yards... Gerrit Groenewold, last season's CSFL Offensive Player of the Year, has completed 122-of-194 passing (62.9%) for 1,476 yards, 11 TDs and six interceptions... Donovan Smith is the leading receiver, with 29 catches for 367 yards and 2 TDs.
LYON DEFENSE GETTING HEALTHEIR, STIFFENS
The Scots' defense came on strong in the second half against Texas College two weeks ago… DeAngelo Crawford (FR/Jonesboro, Ark.) is the leading tackler for Lyon, with 48 total stops and 11 solo tackles. Cedric Cooney (SO/Lonoke, Ark.) has tallied 46 tackles, including 28 solos, while Sage Wood (SO/West Plains, Mo.) has 40 tackles on the season.
WHAT COACH KYLE PHELPS SAYS ABOUT THE FIRESTORM OFFENSE
"Arizona Christian has a high-powered offense. Their quarterback [Gerrit Groenewold] was the conference player of the year last year and their running back [Quinta Thomas] is a very physical runner. I recruited (Thomas) out of California and he went to ACU instead. They have a pretty balanced offense; they throw the ball a lot, but they'll also run the ball to keep you off-balance.
"Their offense will gain in the 400 to 450 yard range and they run a lot of run-pass option. (Groenewold) throws a lot of the short routes, but if you give him time in the pocket he can throw it deep, too. He's a guy we've got to contain on both the run and the pass. He's a very good player and he runs their dynamic offense. Hopefully our defense will come to play."
WHAT COACH PHELPS SAYS ABOUT THE FIRESTORM DEFENSE
"We're a team that lines up and runs the football; that won't change. With the offensive line that we have, we're going to try to do the same thing we've done all year long, no matter who we're playing. We've got to be physical up front again because they have some outstanding safeties and they fly around to the football.
"We have to take advantage of every opportunity, where ever it is. Our backs have to hit the holes in our running game, and if they stack the box we're going to have to throw the ball well. We're averaging almost 300 yards a game on the ground and I think we're going to have to same kind of numbers to be successful.
"This game could come down to turnovers and penalties, so we're going to have to take care of the football."
LYON TO HONOR SENIORS
The Lyon football team will honor three seniors prior to Saturday's game. Defensive lineman Cody Duvall (SR/Atkins, Ark.) (pictured on right), offensive lineman Jacob Lovelace (SR/Stockton, Calif.) (pictured above, right) and Bowles will all be recognized. Duvall is a role player with the Scots' defense, Lovelace has started every game this year at left tackle and Bowles was the third-leading rusher in the nation last season and is currently third entering the ACU game. He has rushed for 2,346 yards and is the all-time leading rusher in Lyon history.
WHAT'S UP NEXT AFTER THE ARIZONA CHRISTIAN GAME
Lyon College will go on the road for its final three games of the 2016 season after Saturday. The Scots will be in a key matchup again next week when they travel to Plainview, Texas, to face Wayland Baptist University. Lyon will then close out CSFL play on November 5 at Langston (Okla.) University. The final regular season game will be on November 12 in St. Louis against Missouri Baptist University. All three games of the final road trip will kick off at 2 p.m.