DEL CITY — A gutsy onside kick in the second quarter and the defense forcing a couple of turnovers helped Lincoln Christian come back to beat Christian Heritage 33-21 on Friday night in the annual “Bulldogs-Crusaders Classic.”
Trailing 14-7 after quarterback Austin Grauer's 11-yard touchdown pass to Alec Davidson, Lincoln Christian coach Darren Melton called an onside kick, which caught Christian Heritage off guard. The Bulldogs recovered, and then struck fast. Lincoln Christian (2-1) scored on the next play when Grauer found Anthony Wilkinson for a 44-yard touchdown pass.
Although Lincoln Christian would still trail after the extra point failed, it scored twice more to take a 26-14 lead into halftime.
“First of all, credit to Coach (John) Merrell and his Crusaders,” said Melton, whose club came back after trailing 14-0 early in the game. “They came out and did a great job (and) got momentum early. We made some mistakes, they capitalized on them. But I'm proud of our guys for being resilient and coming back, being down 14, and giving us the lead at halftime.”
Christian Heritage quarterback Colton Lindsey had an up-and-down game, throwing for 229 yards on 23 competitions with a touchdown. But he was intercepted three times.
Lindsey scored on 4- and 1-yard runs in the first half to give the Crusaders the 14-0 lead.
Lindsey's TD pass came three seconds into the fourth quarter, a 3-yarder to Jacob Blair that helped pulled CHA within five points.
Grauer had an impressive outing for Lincoln Christian, despite several dropped passes. He completed 17 of 28 attempts for 267 yards and three touchdowns. He added a TD by rush.
Wilkinson caught six passes for 157 yards and two TDs.
“That's what we try to do. They're our best players,” Melton said. “We felt we could spread the ball around tonight, (the CHA defense) was giving us some things where we were just throwing the ball to Anthony. It's just one of those offenses, where we'll take what you give us, and at times they gave us Anthony.”