Lincoln tops Wheatland 28-21 to start season 2-0

By: Galen Kusic Special to The News-Messenger
-A +A
It has been seven years since Lincoln High’s varsity football team was 2-0, but that streak ended Friday night when the Zebras came into Wheatland and beat the Pirates 28-21 at John Sohrakoff, Jr. Field in dramatic fashion. The Zebras forced five turnovers on their way to their second straight victory. Lincoln dominated for the majority of the game, but big plays and penalties kept Wheatland in it. With under two minutes to go, the Pirates had the ball at midfield with a chance to tie. "We've had such a tough schedule (in previous seasons) and we knew this was going to be a tough game," Lincoln head coach Ken Lowe said. "I'm just really proud our kids could step up and keep on track." The Zebras' tenacious defensive line showed why they are for real, as constant pressure to Wheatland quarterback John Millington forced four interceptions and two fumbles. As the Pirates drove down the field in the last two minutes, senior defensive lineman Jacob Tryon made his fifth sack in just two games, forcing a third and long situation that set up the game-ending interception. "We just have to keep it up in practice," Tryon said. "It's all about working hard in practice." "I think we can over-power pretty much anyone with our d-line," said Lincoln senior defensive end Alex Cowden, who made several big tackles for a loss. "Last year was embarrassing, so it's about pride." The secondary capitalized on the pressure all night - as senior cornerback Bo Avery picked up two more interceptions to give him three for the season. "Our d-line was doing good - we stepped it up in the fourth quarter," said senior safety Todd Hinnebusch, after making his second interception of the game to seal the victory for the Zebras. "We have more heart this year." Just like last week at Woodland, Lincoln played ball control as the two-headed attack of senior fullback Tim Bevins and senior wingback Moses Stanley ran all over the Pirate defense. "Our attitude from last year to this year is totally different," Lowe said. "Our line was firing off tonight, Moses had some big runs, and Tim Bevins got on track pounding the football." And pound it they did. Bevins was a workhorse, carrying the ball up the gut 22 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Stanley broke out around the outside numerous times for big gains, ending with 12 carries for 110 yards and three touchdowns - one from 57 yards out on a sweep late in the third quarter. Still, after turning the ball over their first two possessions, the Pirates rallied to score before the half on running back Lacarlis Moore's 29-yard scamper. The Pirates scored again with four minutes left in the third on a three-yard Vince Vetrone run before a blocked PAT attempt made it 14-13 Lincoln. After a Bevins and Stanley touchdown and more hard-nosed defense, the Pirates wouldn't go away. Just when it looked like it was over, wide receiver Tyler Kreditor caught an 82-yard touchdown. After Kennie Garges completed the two-point conversion to make it 28-21, it came down to Lincoln with the ball and five minutes to go. The Zebras would punt it away, but made all the big stops and the interception on defense to allow them to run out the clock and escape with a win. "If we eliminate a lot of those big plays, it would help me not have a heart attack out here," Lowe said. The Zebras will take on Brookside Christian in their first home game of the season next Friday at 7 pm.