ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In the final game of the regular season, the Lyon College football team had two offensive players eclipse single-season plateaus. But the fetes were overshadowed by a sharp passing game by Missouri Baptist University, as the Spartans completed 73.7% (28-of-38) of their passes for 486 yards and MBU captured a 70-38 win here at W. Michael Ross Stadium.
Lyon was hoping for its first road win in the modern era, but came up short against the Spartans. The Scots held a 290-199 advantage in rushing yards, but were outgained 486-140 in passing yards and 685-430 in total yards to finish the season with a 3-8 mark.
Missouri Baptist, which had won just one game in two seasons entering the Spartans third season of football, also posted a 3-8 mark on the season, setting a school record for points in a game in their season finale.
Lyon senior running back Michael Bowles (SR/Earle, Ark.) wrapped up his final season at Lyon in explosive fashion, running for 200 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns on 23 carries. It marked his second 200-yard rushing game this season and 15th 100-yard contest in the last two years. He averaged 8.7-yards per carry against MBU.
Bowles totals enabled him to surpass last season's 1,431 yards and eight touchdowns. He gained 1,457 yards in 2016, surpassing last year's total by 26 yards, while doing so with 73 less carries. He scored 10 touchdowns this season, averaging 132.5 yards per game.
"That last drive was all about Michael," said Lyon first-year head coach Kyle Phelps. "We wanted to give him the ball as much as we could so he could get that record.
"I was proud of him and the whole team. They came out and battled. We just had some mistakes in the second half and the game kind of got away from us. But that's football."
Lyon sophomore quarterback Dwane Robinson (SO/Palm Bay, Fla.) became the first Scot in modern era to go over the 1,000-yard passing mark. He completed 11-of-21 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, giving him 1,026 yards on the year. Robinson connected on 104-of-204 (51%) of his throws, completing seven touchdowns.
The Scots, who led on five different occasions in the game and held a 24-21 advantage going into the locker room at the half, playing ball control most of the day, holding on to the ball for 35:37, while limiting the Spartans to a possession time of 22:16. But MBU outscored Lyon 21-7 in the third quarter and 49-14 in the final two periods to ice the contest.
"Going into the fourth quarter we were right there," Phelps added. But we turned the ball over and gave up some big plays and that was the difference in the game.
"There are a ton of things that we are proud of this team for this season. The many things we accomplished are building blocks. We won three games and had chances to win some others. Now we'll go out and have another good recruiting class and go at it again next year."
In addition to Bowles' rushing numbers, Robinson picked up 89 yards and a score on 22 carries, giving him 784 yards on the ground. He scored 11 touchdowns.
Missouri Baptist shuffled players in and out of the game all day long on offense. Eight different players carried the ball, led by Fred Kelley's 63 yards and a TD on eight attempts.
William Ritchey and Jordan Norwine both had strong days throwing the ball for the Spartans. Ritchey hit 19-of-25 (76%) of his passes for 366 yards and four scores, while Norwine completed 9-of-13 (69.2%) for 120 more yards and two scores. Isaiah King (7-148, 2TDs) and Kalen Petty (7-94, TD) were the leading MBU receivers.
Riley Caraway (SO/Batesville, Ark.) hauled in four passes for Lyon accumulating 49 yards. Jonathan Hendrix (SO/Batesville, Ark.) (2-12) and Tre Hawkins (SO/Houston, Texas) (2-11, TD) both had a pair of catches.
Neither team's defense could stop its opponent in the first two quarters as the squads traded six touchdowns and Lyon took or regained the lead four times in the first half before holding a three-point lead at intermission. The first punt of the game didn't occur until the 3:30 mark of the second quarter.
Hawkins took a shovel pass from Robinson for an 11-yard scoring pass to put the Scots on top 7-0 at the 10:33 mark of the first quarter. Almond connected on the first of five extra points on the day.
After a 14-yard touchdown pass to Petty from Ritchey, Lyon regained the lead, 14-7, on a five-yard run by Robinson. MBU drew even at 14-14, before Bowles rambled in from 25 yards out with 11:48 left in the half to once again give the Scots a lead, 21-14.
The Spartans drew even for the third time, and then Almond's 32-yard field goal with 3:42 left in the half gave the Scots the lead at the break.
Missouri Baptist took the second half kickoff and grabbed its first lead, 28-24, with 12:34 left in the third on a five-yard run by Barton.
Lyon took the lead for the fifth time after Joe Mahe (JR/Makawao, Hawaii) recovered a muffed punt at the Spartan seven and Bowles scored two plays later. Almond's point after gave the Scots a 31-28 lead with 4:25 on the clock.
The sea-saw battle continued when MBU drove 61 yards for a touchdown to take a 35-31 lead, but the Spartans were able to stretch the advantage to 42-31 when they scored on a 53-yard pass from Ritchey to King with 1:22 left in the third.
Disaster struck for the Scots early in the fourth. Robinson was intercepted and then Ritchey connected with Griffin for a 74-yard score. A pick-six for the Spartans resulted in a 56-31 lead.
Lyon's Hawkins then returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown with 12:11 remaining, but that was the last time the Scots would be able to get into the endzone.
|Lyon College (3-8)||14||10||7||7||38|
|Missouri Baptist (3-8)||14||7||21||28||70|
|St. Louis, Mo|
|Lyon College||Indv. Leaders||Missouri Baptist|
|#25 Michael Bowles - 200||Rushing||2 Players (#4,#20) - 63|
|#2 Dwane Robinson - 128||Passing||#16 William Ritchey - 366|
|#19 Riley Caraway - 49||Receiving||#12 Isaiah King - 148|
|Lyon College||Team Statistics||Missouri Baptist|