Photo: McPhearson Athletics

WICHITA, Kan. – A last-second defensive stand propelled the No. 14 Langston Lions past the McPherson College Bulldogs 21-20 in the Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce Heartland Classic at Cessna Stadium.

Langston led 21-14 when the Bulldogs’ Ed Crouch hit Ben Nikkel for an eight-yard touchdown to pull McPherson within one point as time expired in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt Crouch again looked Nikkel’s way but the Lions defense tipped the ball away at the last second sealing the season opener 21-20.

The victory gives Langston their fourth-straight season-opening victory under fourth-year head coach Quinton Morgan.

The Lions stormed out of the gate in the opening quarter when Jordan Cooper scored on a 33-yard run to cap a six-play, 74-yard drive. Langston tacked on a four-yard touchdown by Tim Whitfield to push them in front 14-0 at the 2:19 mark in the first quarter. Langston’s defense managed to get on the scoreboard as well when Christopher Pogi tipped Crouch’s pass to himself and raced 12-yards to pay dirt to give the Lions a 21-0 advantage after one quarter of play.

Following a scoreless second quarter, McPherson’s Quashad Washington scampered 70-yards to trim Langston’s lead to 21-7. The Bulldogs’ LaMeshio Hill also scored on a three-yard run at the 6:32 mark in the fourth quarter.

Gianni Stevenson finished 11-for-14 for 125 yards and one interception in his first start for Langston. Whitfield finished with 57 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown; Isaiah Shaputis led all receivers with three receptions for 42 yards.

James Cox led Langston with seven total tackles, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble. In addition to Pogi’s interception, Dorian William also racked up one interception to go along with three tackles.

Langston (1-0, 0-0 SAC) travels to face Arkansas-Pine Bluff next Saturday at 6 p.m.

Courtesy: Langston Athletics


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