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Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Kyle Lindsay, Bishop Luers’ offensive coordinator, is serving as the team’s coach as his father, Matt, takes a leave of absence. The Knights defeated Wayne in Kyle Lindsay’s head coaching debut Friday.

Special win for Knights

Bishop Luers’ Michael Rogers avoids Wayne defenders during the second quarter Friday.
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Luers’ Jaylon Smith gets around Wayne’s Kye Black in the second quarter Friday night.

– This wasn’t the way Kyle Lindsay envisioned making his head coaching debut with Bishop Luers.

Lindsay took over as interim head coach Friday because his father, Matt, is on an indefinite leave of absence because of undisclosed health reasons. Matt Lindsay has been Luers’ head coach for 26 years.

Bishop Luers struggled at times in Kyle Lindsay’s debut, but a couple of late scores provided a cushion in a 27-7 win over Wayne.

“Every win is big, but considering the circumstances this one is special in some ways because it was my first game as a head coach,” Kyle Lindsay said. “I am proud of the kids, of how they responded. They just found out (Thursday), as well as myself, that my father wouldn’t be here for … we don’t know how long.

“They did a pretty good job of staying focused. We didn’t have to give them a win-one-for-coach-Lindsay speech. We just tried to make it like every other Friday night.”

Class 2A No. 4 Bishop Luers improved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the SAC, and Wayne fell to 1-4 and 0-3.

It has been 33 years since Matt Lindsay – who is 229-99 with Luers – wasn’t on the sidelines for the Knights, either as an assistant or head coach. Bishop Luers longtime Principal Mary Keefer said there were no plans to do anything out of the ordinary for Matt Lindsay, but she did say that the environment was referred to her as “flat and subdued.”

“He said not to go out there and win one for me,” Kyle Lindsay said of his father’s speech to the team. “He just said go out there and play like you have pride in that uniform, and our kids did.”

Kyle Lindsay, who played quarterback at Luers, is the team’s offensive coordinator.

“Bittersweet is the same word we used earlier today,” Kyle Lindsay said of his head coaching debut. “You don’t want to take over under circumstances like this. But my dad has had a great (coaching) staff around him for years, and it made things a lot easier. I have been calling the plays on offense for the last four years, so other than a few pre-game things I am not used to and talking to (the media), it hasn’t been too much of a change for me.”

The reason for Matt Lindsay’s leave of absence was confirmed Thursday by Kyle Lindsay as health-related, but as expected Matt Lindsay has kept things private.

“I am not sure what has happened, but apparently it must be something that is a little more involved in than what I am involved with,” said Luers assistant coach Mike Egts, who has been undergoing recent health issues of his own. “It is a distraction. There are a lot of life lessons here, … because down the road they are going to handle adversity and hopeful we can teach them how to handle adversity.”

Against Wayne, Luers appeared a little flat, especially on offense. The Knights, though, have been having their struggles scoring all season and are averaging only 15 points. Against the Generals, they had 179 offensive yards.

“Offensively we have to get better,” Kyle Lindsay said. “We have to eliminate a lot of the mental mistakes.”

On defense, the Knights’ Kendrick Mullen had two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown. The Luers players were unavailable for interviews after the game.