In Lindenwood’s second season of rugby, the Lions have punched their ticket to a second Final Four. Last year the Lions won the DII National Championship, and Sunday they beat Bowling Green 55-24 in Madison, Wisc. to advance to the DI-AA semifinals May 11 in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Lions beat Northern Illinois 60-0 and the Falcons beat Rice 94-17 Saturday to advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals.
Bowling Green was able to compete in the opening quarter of the game, and they scored a couple of tries in the game’s final 20 minutes, but Lindenwood built a big cushion in the meat of the game.
The Falcons actually led 10-7 after about 15 minutes, but the Lions ran in four-straight tries before intermission to take a 34-10
“They had a big, big athletic team and we decided we were going to put the greyhounds out there and stretch them out a bit. We had a nice dry day, a dry ball and it worked nicely for us,” Lindenwood coach Ron Laszewski said.
Lindenwood scrumhalf Nick Markowski helped release those greyhounds with his foot.
“He really punished with his box kicks off the base of the ruck,” said Laszewski. “He just pounded it over the winger’s head and we’d get 50 meters at a crack and it just set the tone.”
The greyhound, err Lion, with the most pep in his step was fullback Morgan Findlay. When teams kick to Findlay, they essentially kick start Lindenwood’s attack.
“Morgan Findlay, as usual, was the best player in Madison,” said Laszewski of his star fullback. “In the big games, man, he just takes them over, and he did today.”
Though the Lions put the Falcons to the sword like they have all DI-AA opponents this season, Laszewski was complimentary of BGSU.
“They take you on physically, and we can see how they cause a lot of teams problems,” he said.
“We just put in a lot of double-team tackles, and it seemed to be effective. They want to punch it up the middle and pound on you and offload. When our legs got tired in the second half we gave up a couple of tries. We knew coming in they were a good team, but that we could handle them, and we did.”