Lions Fall in Opener

By Taron Jordan

In the Battle of the Firsts, the Cheyney University Wolves were able to overcome a huge day by Lions QB, true freshman Doug Cook and defeat Lincoln University 21-19.  This was the Lions first defeat at the Claws of the Wolves in over 100 years.

Despite big games from players on both the Lions’ offensive and defensive sides of the ball, specials teams and turnovers, five by the Lions and only one by the wolves, were the difference.

“We were not able to maintain our momentum throughout the whole game,” Lions head coach O.J. Abanishe said. “We had an up and down game. I thought Doug Cook played very well as a freshman. He made some mistakes, as freshmen do, but we are very pleased with the performance he had today.”

The Lions were lead on offense by Cook, who went 30-for-47 totaling 317 passing yards and two touchdowns. But Cook also had two costly interceptions, one which ended a first half drive in the red zone, and two fumbles, losing one of them on the final play of the game.

Receiving most of Cook’s passes was Philip Jean-Juste, who had 13 catches, 146 yards, and a touchdown on the day. The Lions leading receiver from last year, Matthew Coston, had a nice day catching six passes for 81 yards.  Anthony Wilson provided four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

The Lions defense had held Wolves’ Quarterback Chris Anderson to 60 yards on 4-of-13 passing, but was not its usual self as they allowed an uncharacteristic 218 yards rushing, lead by Marcus Jones’ 96 yards on 15 carries.

The Lions were led on defense by senior linebacker Brandon McElwee with seven tackles and an interception. Junior Tim Green also was a monster as he sacked Wolves quarterback Anderson twice.

Wolves’ punter Tyler Wilkinson, a native of Avon Grove, Pa., site of the Lions’ home games, was the hero for the Wolves. He kicked six punts for an average of 39.2 yards.

Two very memorable punts that neutralized all momentum the Lions had in the final quarter. He booted a low line-drive that went about 30 yards and ended up rolling another 30 yards to pin the Lions at their own 7-yd line. Then Wilkinson had a perfectly executed “coffin kick” that left the Lions on their own 1-yd line with only 3:59 remaining in the game and 99 yards to go.

“Tyler Wilkinson had two good punts especially his last one in the fourth quarter that pinned us to the 1-yard line, and in any league, that’s hard to overcome,” Abanishe said.

The game ended for the Lions as Cook was sacked and fumbled the ball at the Lions own 42-yd line with only about 14 seconds left in the game.

The Lions return to action Saturday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. as they travel to Frankfurt, Ky., to play against Kentucky State.

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