Robert Gayden has a pair of interceptions and Derek Koon tied the Bulldog career field goal record but it wasn??t enough as Lindenwood (Mo.) University??s Denodus O??Bryant and Andrew Helmick accounted 384 of the Lions?? 539 yards of total offense in a 38-13 victory over the Truman (Mo.) Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. O??Bryant opened the scoring with a two-yard run on Lindenwood??s first possession.
The Lions converted on a fourth and nine at the Truman 21-yardline earlier in the drive and two plays later O??Bryant found the endzone. Koon connected from 38-yards out to make it 7-3 but then Helmick shifted the momentum in the Lions?? favor by bouncing off a pair of would-be tacklers and racing 69-yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Helmick finished with 10 catches for 213 yards. Tony Ritzman caught a six-yard TD pass at the 8:04 mark of the second quarter to put LU up 21-3.
Passes from Miller to Helmick of 17 and 22 yards set up the score. Koon tied Mickey Masucci for the Bulldog career field goal record with his 37th make from 28-yards away with 2:05 left before half to cut the deficit to 21-6. O??Bryant rushed for 171 yards with a 79-yard scamper early in the third to open up a 28-6 lead on the Bulldogs. It was O??Bryant??s second TD of the game Truman??s ??big-play?? player Garrett White answered for the Bulldogs later in the third with a 58-yard touchdown pass off a screen from senior Taylor Breen that was sprung free by offensive lineman Steve Bosilovatz. That closed the gap to 28-13. Gayden snared his second pick of the contest later in the quarter to set up the Bulldogs at the Lions?? 46.
However the offense could not gain any ground and missed the opportunity to close to within one possession. The Lions would add a fourth quarter field goal by James Neal from 33-yards and a four-yard TD pass to Helmick from Dillon Miller with 7:15 to play. White led Truman with 34 yards rushing and added 72 through the air while junior Dallas Grier caught 10 passes for 72 yards. Grier became just the second Bulldog receiver to go over 1,000 yards in a season as he finished with 1,026 on 81 catches and four touchdowns. He will enter his senior season fourth in career catches with 161 and third in yards with 2,173. Prior to the game, 26 Bulldog seniors were honored. Among the standouts were punter Eric Phillips, defensive players Patrick Blackwell, Michael Elliott and Richie Schumacher. Phillips was one of the most accomplished punters in Truman history averaging above 40 yards per punt the last two seasons. Phillips averaged 39.4 for his career on 247 punts. He had 32 this season inside the opposition 20-yardline and 77 for his career. Blackwell picked up a sack on Saturday to finish his Truman career with 21.5 sacks, sixth all-time on that Bulldog career list. Elliott finished with 294 total tackles and tied for sixth on the career interception list with 11 with two going for scores. Schumacher ended as the Bulldogs top tackler the past two seasons with 130 and 110. He finished tied for third in all-time stops with 354. Following the game in a show of sportsmanship and unity both teams came together at midfield to honor and pay respects to Lindenwood??s Sterling Thomas.
The Bulldogs presented the Lions with a check for over $750 dollars raised and donated by players to assist with Thomas?? injury fund after the freshman suffered a critical injury in a game against Missouri Southern two weeks ago. The Bulldogs conclude the 2012 season with a 4-7 overall record and 3-7 mark in their final season as a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Truman will join the Great Lakes Valley Conference next season.