The score was supposed to be much more lopsided. They weren’t supposed to have the ball with two minutes left and a chance to win the game.
But that’s where the Lindbergh Flyers found themselves Friday night in their district opener at Parkway South thanks to an impressive defensive effort that kept the underdogs in the game from start to finish.
So when his offense couldn’t put together a game-winning drive and they suffered a heart-breaking 10-7 loss to end their season, Lindbergh coach Tom Beauchamp couldn’t find a negative thing to say.
“The kids came to play, they played their hearts out and gave it everything they had,” Beauchamp said. “I have no complaints or gripes. Our kids played with everything they had.
“They have a lot of pride. All the kids talked about it and all the seniors said, we want to come to play. That’s all they talked about all week long and they did. There was not a bit of quit in any of them.”
The No. 6 seeded Flyers fell behind 7-0 midway through the first quarter on a 45-yard touchdown run by Patriots running back Eddie Morris.
But Lindbergh responded, taking advantage of a Parkway South fumble and a short field to tie the game 7-7 on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Chuck Houska to Isobo Amoso late in the first quarter.
That was it for the scoring until late in the fourth quarter.
The tough Lindbergh defense, which entered the game fourth in the Suburban West Conference averaging just 18.1 points allowed per game, turned up the heat and made it tough for Parkway South to do much of anything offensively.
The problem was that the Lindbergh offense had an even tougher time against the Patriots defense. Lindbergh had just 87 total yards and barely moved the ball into Parkway South territory all game.
Parkway South finally broke the tie late in the fourth quarter thanks in large part to an 11-yard Lindbergh punt that gave the Patriots the ball at the Flyers 40 yard line.
After missing a 37-yard field goal with 7:43 remaining in the game, Parkway South kicker Lucas Bakula nailed a 41-yarder with 2:43 left in the game to give the Patriots a 10-7 lead. The Lindbergh offense turned the ball over on downs, ending their season with a 3-7 record.
“When you hold a team like that to ten points, you have to feel pretty good about it,” Beauchamp said. “I think our defense played up to it’s reputation and played like men. I have no qualms about it. Every one of them worked their butt off. I don’t think we have them anything other than one long run all game long.
“They were excited. They knew they could play like this and were capable of it. We came off a bad game vs. Mehlville and they rallied and came together and played like a team. South deserved to win. We just have to play better next time.”
Expectations are already high for Lindbergh in 2013. They are expected to return nine starters on offense and ten on defense and also will also get back team leader Garret Krueger, who led the team in scoring and total yards before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury earlier this year.
Parkway South advances to play at Eureka in the next round of districts.