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LU loses to Concordia in Wheat Bowl Classic

The Lindenwood University Lions suffered a season-opening loss Saturday, Aug. 26 in Ellinwood, Kan., dropping a 31-14 decision to Concordia University in the sixth annual Wheat Bowl Classic.

Concordia drew first blood with a 31-yard field goal four minutes into the game. The Bulldogs then added a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown to make the score 10-0. LU got on the board when defensive back Pat Weston returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown. Concordia struck once more in the first quarter, which ended 16-7.

Concordia scored touchdowns in the second a third quarters, and the Lions' mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Mike Hofbauer tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan McLain, and LU drove twice more inside Concordia's 20-yard line, but failed to score.

"I would have liked to have been more efficient offensively," said Coach Dan Kratzer. "We missed key opportunities in the red zone late in the game."

The Lions now put the Concordia loss behind them and prepare for their home opener Saturday against Olivet Nazarene.

"It was important to get off to a good start, but there is a lot more football to be played," Kratzer said. "We won't be folding the tents by any means."

Kratzer pointed out that Missouri Valley College opened the 1999 season with a loss in the Wheat Bowl and went on to win the Heart of America Conference title.

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