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Missed opportunities and mistakes cost the Nebraska Lawdawgs in their regular-season finale against the Midwest Chaos, 18-8, Saturday at Warrior Field in Neligh.
"You can't come out after two weeks of sloppy practice sessions and try to turn it on," said Lawdawg coach Jordan Taylor. "There were times tonight where our defense was slapping them (Midwest) around and no one can stop our running game when we are focused. We gave it all we could, but you can't turn the ball over that many times. The fact it was 18-8 is ridiculous."
Two turnovers on their first two drives put the Dawgs in an early 12-0 hole to start.
A fumble on the second play of the game, gave the Chaos the ball inside Nebraska’s own 30-yard line.
Midwest found the end zone on a 23-yard touchdown strike. The two-point conversation was no good.
After a 23-yard pass from Andrew Lund to Caleb Hahne’s started the second drive, a Midwest defensive back picked off Lund’s pass and took it 68 yards to the house. The Chaos were once again stopped on their two-point conversion.
The Chaos pushed their lead to 18 after two-yard TD plunge in the second quarter, but failed to convert the two-point conversion.
The Lawdawgs had two golden opportunities to find pay dirt to end the half, but were turned away. A fumble inside Midwest’s 15-yard line halted a Nebraska drive and the Dawgs were unable to score before the half ended after starting the drive at the Chaos’ 20.
"These are simple things," Taylor said about the Lawdawgs' sloppy play. "It should have been 0-0 at half. The first touchdown pass was a horrible pass. We should have picked it off. We dropped a pick and you have to make those plays. You have to be in shape and be ready, but we were dogging it and we were tired. We're going to learn and we're going to get better."
A fumble inside Midwest territory ended Nebraska’s first drive of the second half on what was a promising start to the third.
The Lawdawgs finally scored with under six minutes to go in the game when Lund connected on a 28-yard scoring pass to Spencer Volden.
Nebraska has two more opportunities, but were stopped as the Dawgs fell in their final home contest of the year.
Eli Schreier led the offense with 165 yards on the ground, including 130 yards in the second half. Lund went nine of 12 passing for 86 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while Volden accounted for 62 yards of total offense and a score.
"Eli (Schreier) and Spencer (Volden) are flat out beast," Taylor said. "Andrew (Lund) is learning and he is young. He will come along. These guys are young, They're learning and they're going to get better. When they've been in the league for five years, that team (Midwest), won't stand a chance."
Midwest ends its season with a 4-6 record.
The Nebraska Lawdawgs (5-4) enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed and travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on the Capital City Command.
"The one good thing is we've been pushing all year for the players to stand up and start leading," Taylor said. "Every team I played on, there is veteran leadership and we're starting to get to that, which is what we need. We played with less than we should have numbers wise (tonight). We were at half-mast. If we go out there at full strength, every game should be a win. We're going to prepare this week at practice to win and we're going to go out there to win because that's what we're suppose to do."