Mark Wright, Jr. led the Langston Lions to a thrilling 49-48 victory on Saturday over Lincoln University at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 98 yards and another score.
But the sophomore isn’t satisfied.
“For my performance, I would say I need to improve,” Wright said. “I went 15-for-31. That’s below a 50 percent completion rating, so I need to work on that and get better.”
Dating back to last season, Langston has won seven straight games on the field with Wright at the helm. He said he makes the effort to keep himself together so he can do the same for others.
“I try to stay even-keeled and always keep my team focused,” Wright said. “When we were losing, I was letting the offense know that we’ve got to help our defense out. Any time we’re on the field, we’ve got to have long-play drives and get them a chance to rest and score a touchdown to get the momentum back.”
That must have had an impact on Saturday. The Lions trailed the Blue Tigers at one point in the first half by 21 points.
But the defense made corrections at the half, Wright and the offense stayed the course and kept on scoring.
“Yes, we did do things well when we needed to,” Wright said. “Coach had great plays, but as always, we need to improve in all that we’re doing.”
Langston head coach Dwone Sanders said he is appreciative of his quarterback’s effort and desire to get better.
“What can you say about Mark Wright, Jr.?” Sanders said.
“Poise, precision and audacity. He works very hard and he’s a very even-keeled quarterback. He controls his smiles and his cries – he’s never too high and never too low.”
Sanders said more people are starting to see what he has seen for some time, some even to their detriment.
“The coach from Lincoln University, Mike Jones, said that he underestimated our trigger man. He didn’t know how good he actually was.
“Well, he got a heavy dose of Mark Wright on Saturday.”
As for Wright, he continues to look to grow as a quarterback.
“The line gave me time to make the passes, but I can improve on my mechanics and my throwing motion. That will help me with my accuracy so I have a better completion rating.”
Wright did give loosen just a bit to say enjoyed the experience of playing in the Missouri Classic at the home of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It was a great feeling playing in an NFL stadium. Then with the support for both teams in the crowd, Langston alums and current students came out the same as Lincoln alums and current students. And it was a great fan base and a great game.”
Langston makes another trip to the state of Missouri for the next contest.
Wright and Lions will take on Truman State, the second consecutive NCAA Division II opponent, in Kirksville, Mo., at 7 p.m. on Saturday.