FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Saturday afternoon the University of Saint Francis Cougars (3-5; 1-4 MSFA) played host to the Lawrence Tech University Blue Devils (7-3; 3-3 MSFA) at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium but fell just short by a score of 31-28.
After a thrilling come from behind victory last week against the Taylor Trojans, the Cougars’ offense picked right back where they left off and it started with an interception from senior Damon Hunter in just the second play of the game.
What followed was an eight-yard pass from junior quarterback Heath Simmons to junior wide receiver Jay Segal who ran it in for the game’s first score giving the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
After kicking it off, the Cougars defense then forced a fumble and recovered it in Blue Devil’s territory. Then Heath Simmons followed suit with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Devin Senarius to double the lead at 14-0.
The Cougars had scored in five consecutive possessions dating back to last Saturday’s fourth quarter, but then halfway through the first quarter the Blue Devils’ offense came to life.
Lawrence Tech put together a successful drive towards the end of the first quarter and capped it off with a touchdown, though Damon Hunter blocked the extra point attempt to keep it an eight-point game.
Come the second half, the Blue Devils began to take control of the momentum and the clock. A 17-yard touchdown pass put them within one point, and after forcing a three and out from Saint Francis within the frame’s final two minutes.
Then Lawrence Tech connected with a 64-yard touchdown pass to take the lead at 20-14 and it stayed that way as the game went to halftime.
But the Cougars got the ball to start the second half, and they took advantage as Simmons guided the offense down the field and with the ball on the five-yard line, and then a reverse play got the Cougars back on top in the frame’s opening drive to regain the lead at 21-20.
Although they had regained the lead, it evaporated on the next drive by the Blue Devils resulting in a six-yard rushing touchdown, and a field goal on their next drive put them ahead now by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Down but not out, the Cougars continued to scratch and claw until the end. Their defense stepped up to make a couple of key stops in the final frame, but the Cougars couldn’t break through to the end zone themselves.
Finally, with just over three minutes remaining in the game, Simmons found Jay Segal again for the duo’s second touchdown of the game and Saint Francis was right back in it now trailing by just three.
But needing to make a stop, the Cougars defense couldn’t as the Blue Devils’ run game found an open lane on the next several plays and as the game clock winded down to zero, victory was just out of the reach of Saint Francis.