Flyers defeat Marquette in first round of football playoffs

Lindbergh to tackle Kirkwood Friday night

By Robert Chalupny

The Lindbergh High School varsity football team has just four wins this season, but the Flyers’ latest victory was more important than the others combined, as they defeated Marquette 20-17 Friday night in playoff action.

Fans who watched the game from either side saw plenty of ups and downs in the classic high school football matchup, according to Flyers head coach Tom Beauchamp.

“It was a great high school game. I’m telling you everybody who paid their five dollars got their money’s worth — no doubt about that,” Beauchamp told the Call. “It was back and forth. Both teams battled hard. It was a tremendous game.

“I mean, our kids came to play and they were able to pull it out. We had to make a couple huge plays at the end to make it happen, but they did it.”

Lindbergh running back Steve Washington started the scoring in the game. He scored twice in the first quarter, while the defense allowed no points in the first quarter.

But the Mustangs inched their way back into the game. With a 14-0 deficit going into the second quarter, the Mustangs put 10 points on the board in the second quarter with a touchdown and a field goal and held off the Flyers in that quarter.

In the second half, things got scary for Flyers more than once. They gave up another touchdown in the third quarter and squandered the lead they grabbed early in the game. But trailing 17-14, the Flyers answered the bell when Logan Offner ran one in late in the third quarter.

Though there was no scoring in the fourth quarter, there was plenty of action and one close call for the Flyers that was a game-changer.

In the last minute of the game, Marquette was working down the field on its final drive and ended up with a first and goal at the 1-yard line, but Lindbergh’s defense refused to give an inch.

“It was a heck of an effort by them on that,” Beauchamp said of his team’s defensive effort. “I mean, that’s kind of tough to stop a good team four times in a row. They were a quality team, so overall it was a great effort by everyone. It was a total team effort.”

The two teams met each other in the regular season and it was the Mustangs who came away with a 4-point win in a similarly close game.

With the season on the line, Beauchamp said his players upped their game, but it wasn’t far off from how they have been playing all year. The adversity they faced in the regular season proved to be a benefit to the players.

“I think when your back’s against the wall, it kind of shows your character — what are you going to be made of, and our kids have been battling all year long …,” he said. “They’ve always given everything they’ve had. I think this game that came through in a big way. Their character to battle, their ability to battle and not give up made a huge difference.

“It could have been real easy to give up when they were down there on the goal line and only 1 yard to go. In a close game like this, there are other situations and they did a tremendous job just battling back and making sure things happen … (They) played with great effort and great heart.”

The Flyers and their fans hope the Lindbergh players learned enough this season to get past one of the toughest teams in Class 5, the 8-1 Kirkwood Pioneers.

The Flyers will head to Kirkwood Friday night hoping to have a better showing than they did in their season opener, when the Pioneers toppled them 48-9.

“They hammered us early in the year, so we are hoping that we developed enough and we’ll give them a heck of a game,” Beauchamp said. “They are very talented. They’ve got a lot of quick kids. It’s going to be one of those games where we’re going to have to come out and give it our best again.

“But this time of year every game is on the line, so you’ve got to be ready to play.”