Lincoln County High School’s Falcons picked up a big District 8-AAA win on the road over Franklin County Friday night.
LCHS finished the clash on top 24-14. The win put the Falcons’ overall record at 3-6. In district standings, Columbia leads at 5-0; Tullahoma follows with a record of 3-2; Lincoln County and Franklin County are both at 2-2; Shelbyville is at 1-4; and Lawrence County is 0-4.
LCHS is open this week, then hosts Shelbyville Oct. 26 for the team’s final game of the regular season. That same night, the Falcons will celebrate senior night. At halftime in the game with Shelbyville’s Eagles, the Falcon Football Club will have a drawing for the Gator utility vehicle sponsored by TriGreen. Donations of $20 may be made to enter the contest.
Following the Falcons’ game with Shelbyville, The Lost Trailers will hold a concert in the LCHS gymnasium.
“The concert is included with admission to the game,” said Falcon Football Club President John Richardson. “Game tickets are $6. The gates will stay open late for admission. The Lost Trailers are a great group and have several hits out on the radio. They’re coming early to perform for the kids and plan to shoot some scenes for a music video while they’re here. We hope the community will come out and support the Falcons, then stay for the concert.”
Friday night LCHS jumped on Franklin County’s Rebels early, moving the ball and taking advantage of a Franklin County turnover. The Falcons were up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, but the Rebs put points on the board in the second, and it was a 14-7 ball game at the break.
In the third quarter, Franklin County knotted it at 14-14. At the 5:13 mark the Falcons started at their own 34-yard line. After two plays LCHS still looked at a third and 10 situation from the 34. Quarterback Matthew Beddingfield kept the drive alive, scrambling to the 48-yard line. Beddingfield then connected with Josh Whitaker to the 35. Beddingfield finished the job with his legs. With 29 seconds on the clock, he took it in from the one foot line on the sneak. Millers’ kick was good, and the Falcons were up 21-14 – they would not trail again.
“We did a solid job offensively and defensively,” Coach Don Thomas said of his Falcons. “A lot of that came from our seniors – they took charge of the team.
“Everyone stepped up into the mix – a lot of good things came together. Matt (Beddingfield) had a good night, but the offensive line did their job. Defensively we stopped a good rushing team.
“The rivalry with Franklin County has a long tradition and has been a hard fought battle in the past – it’s a good rivalry,” continued the coach. “I’m glad the Falcons took care of business and finished on top.
“The field conditions made a difference in the game,” he added. “It was soggy – most of the runs had to be straight line running and not a lot of cuts.
“We’ve got a week off, but we’ll spend the time getting ready to host Shelbyville.”
Friday night the Rebels won the toss but deferred to the second half. The Falcons took it 68 yards in five plays. Tradarius Christian took it in from 34 yards out for the score. Millers’ kick was good, and LCHS was up 7-0 with 10:10 in the first.
On the following series, Franklin County started at their own 22-yard line. After moving to the 34, the Rebs coughed up the ball, and Robert McCants was there to pick it up and take it back to the 20. On the following play, Beddingfield threaded the needle across the middle to Whitaker who made a great catch for the score. Millers’ PAT was good, and with 7:38 on the clock, LCHS was up 14-0.
Early in the second quarter, after holding the Falcons on fourth down at the 29-yard line, the Rebels took over on downs. It took Franklin County nine plays to go the 71 yards for the score. The PAT was good, and LCHS was up 14-7. Late in the second the Falcons moved inside the Rebels 20. As Beddingfield scrambled to get out of bounds with ticks still on the clock, the referees ruled that time had expired and Lincoln County went into the break up 14-7.
After holding the Rebels on their opening possession of the second half, the Falcon offense failed to get on track. Starting at their own 34, the Rebs were on the move. With fourth and inches shy of the 44, Franklin County’s quarterback Caleb Limbaugh bounced off the line and took it outside 44 yards for the score. The PAT was good, and with 5:19, it was tied at 14-14.
The following drive for the Falcons ate nearly five minutes off the clock as they went 66 yards in 11 plays. Beddingfield carried it in on the sneak, and Miller’s kick was good. With 29 seconds left in the third, Lincoln County was up 21-14.
Early in the fourth, the Falcon defense held with a big sack coming from Slade Swinford on a fourth and nine situation. LCHS took over at their own 41 with nine minutes remaining in the game. After moving across midfield, the Falcons looked at a fourth and 10 at the Rebs’ 31. Beddingfield connected with Whitaker down to the 14. With 2:51 on the clock, Stephen Miller salted it away on a successful 32-yard field goal, and the Falcons were up 24-21.
With 1:37 remaining in the game, Lincoln County made the stop they needed and took over on downs at their own 41 to finish with the win.
The Falcons put up 311 yards against the Rebs. Quarterback Matthew Beddingfield rushed for 97 yards in 20 tries. Tradarius Christian rushed nine times for 73 yards. Kevin Galloway had nine carries for 40 yards, and Jack Cooter had one for four yards.
In the air, Beddingfield was seven of 16 for 102 yards. All seven catches went to Josh Whitaker. Daniel McAbee punted twice with punts of 41 and 31 yards for a 36-yard average.
Defensively LCHS gave up 236 yards, all coming on the ground. Layton Wells led for the Rebels with 92 yards in 16 tries.
Jack Cooter led the Falcons with 18 tackles; Tyler Bennett, Slade Swinford, Justin Clark and Matthew McKinney had five each; Chase Rogers, Jarrett Johnson and T.J. Crabtree, three; Josh Whitaker, John Michael Pressley and Robert Swart, two; Quamaine Humphrey, Tommy Sanders, Robert McCants and Riley Malone each had one.