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Lincoln County High School’s Falcons trailed the Lawrence County Wildcats Friday night except for the part that matters most.
In the their final possession, the Falcons went 54 yards in 8 plays for the score with 39 seconds remaining in the game to take the lead. At the buzzer, LCHS had the win, 24-21.
The Falcons are now 3-0 in District 8-AAA with three conference match-ups with Shelbyville, Coffee County and Tullahoma remaining on the schedule. The mark is good enough to put Lincoln County in first place with Tullahoma following at 2-1; Shelbyville, 1-1; Columbia, 2-2; Lawrence County and Franklin County, 1-2; and Coffee County, 0-2.
“There was a lot of excitement at Lincoln County football Friday night,” said Coach Don Thomas. “In the first half, all three phases of our game didn’t click – they did in the second half. It was the same people, same defense and offense but a different half. I think we held them to two first downs the third and fourth quarters.
“We used three players at the quarterback position,” he added. “They all have their strengths and can help us win. Keller Monks is a good manager, and he threw the winning touchdown pass. Tommy Sanders picked up some big yards for us on the option up the middle. Brandon Gower gives us the option to go to the back side with his speed. On the game-winning catch, we went to a sophomore, Shelton Smith.
“We’ve got to get ready for Shelbyville now,” Coach Thomas continued. “They’ve got the most athletic team in our district. They can score a lot of different ways in all three aspects of the game.”
Friday night the Wildcats were first to put points on the board with a 9-play, 90-yard drive and were up 7-0 with 4:31 in the first quarter.
Lawrence County added another score early in the second frame on a 5-play, 54-yard drive and had the lead, 13-0, with 11:22 in the second.
The Falcons’ first points of the game came from the leg of Logan Wheat. After a 13-play, 77-yard drive stalled, Wheat split the uprights from 30 yards out, and the Falcons trailed, 14-3, with 5:29 in the half.
But, the first half action was far from over. Lincoln County took advantage of a Wildcat turnover, recovering at the Wildcat 36-yard line. Three plays later, August Hill took it 21 yards for a score. Wheat’s kick was good, and with 4:37, it was a 14-10 ball game.
Late in the period, the Falcons were tagged with back-to-back penalties that kept Lawrence County’s drive alive. The ‘Cats scored on a 12-yard pass play and took the lead, 21-10, into the intermission.
From that point on, it was a different Falcon team on the field defensively. Lincoln County held the Wildcats to less that 30 yards rushing and two first downs in the second half.
With 7:45 in the third, Ryan Golden scored from the five, capping off an 11-play, 62-yard drive. Wheat’s kick was good, and LCHS trailed, 21-17.
Penalties and a turnover kept the Falcons out of the end zone until late in the final frame. Lincoln County’s Ryan Hall recovered a fumble at the 46-yard line. It took LCHS eight plays to go 54 yards for the score as Monks connected with Smith alone in the end zone from 15 yards out. Wheat’s kick was good, and the Falcons finished with the win, 24-21.
Lincoln County finished with 323 yards on the ground and 20 passing yards for a total of 343. August Hill had 20 carries for 140 yards; Ryan Golden, 17 for 80 yards; Brandon Gower, 8 for 65 yards; Tommy Sanders, 4 for 47 yards; and Jack Cooter, 1 for 8 yards. The two additional quarterbacks of Gower and Sanders accounted for 112 yards rushing.
Keller Monks was 2 of 5 in the air for 20 yards and a touchdown. Shelton Smith had 1 catch for 15 yards, and August Hill, 1 for 5 yards.
Defensively, Lincoln County held the Wildcats to 197 yards on the ground and 18 in the air. Jack Cooter led with 11 tackles; Xavier Shlueter, 10; Tyler Bennett, Ethan Warren and Robert Swart, 6; T.J. Crabtree, 4; Quamaine Humphrey, Ryan Hall and Josh Whitaker, 3; and Jarrett Johnson, 1.
For their next action, the Falcons travel to Shelbyville Friday night with game time at 7 p.m. The Eagles come into the match-up at 3-3 and 1-1 in district action following a 44-7 win over Franklin County Friday night; 34-21 win over Marshall County; 41-16 win over Warren County; a 36-33 loss to Tullahoma; 41-13 loss to Franklin; and a 57-30 loss to Giles County.