Lancers finish as runners-up in MAC

Published 11:12 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Longwood University club football team finished its 2016 season with a record of 3-3, including a trip to the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship game.

The Lancers lost the title game 27-3 to 5-time champion Coppin State University.

Longwood Coach Vincent Tate was pleased overall with what he saw from his players this year.

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“They did well,” he said. “We were rebuilding. We lost five starting seniors from the team last year.”

Among the many key returners this year was Ashton Reighard, who had five touchdowns on the season.

Freshman Daniel Gillis stood out as a wing back as did Bryant Winbush as a running back, while senior Garrett Lassiter led a fortified offensive line.

Middle linebacker Noah Lovelady, outside linebackers Dillon Tennis and Rob Mansueti, and defensive linemen Aaron Sims and Jerrel Demiel led a strong Lancer defense this season.

“Longwood Club Football would like to thank Cumberland local Vincent Tate and the rest of the coaching staff for putting in the time and effort to help promote the success this season,” said Longwood Club Football President and player Patrick Eason.

Noting different highlights during the season, Tate cited the Lancers’ 31-0 shutout win over the University of Pittsburgh and a narrow 21-20 victory over George Mason University.

Longwood’s two losses during the regular season were by only six points apiece, and one of those contests came against eventual champion Coppin State, showing what the Lancers were capable of when healthy and not undermanned.

Tate said the Lancers hope to play future games at area high schools to benefit local youth league programs.

He also hopes the team can raise its profile among high school players in the area.

“I really want for other schools in the area to know about Longwood’s club team, because kids can come there, go to school and they can still play football,” he said, adding that the Lancers play in a bonafide league.