Lincoln had its share of first-game errors, but senior running back Rayshaun Miller proved to be the difference, turning two short screen passes into long touchdowns and adding a kickoff return for a score to help the Abes to a 25-7 win over Bonney Lake tonight at Lincoln Bowl.
After getting a three-and-out defensively on the game’s opening series, the Abes looked to take a quick lead when J’Maka Love hit Kashawn Johnson for a 43-yard score on a double pass, but it was negated by an illegal man downfield.
But Miller gave the Abes a 7-0 lead later in the first, taking a screen pass from Jordan Kitna on the right sideline, and weaving back down the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 77-yard drive. Bonney Lake answered with an 11-play, 73-yard drive capped by Ethan McElderry’s one-yard touchdown run to tie it up.
But Miller used his speed and quickness to strike again late in the first half, taking another screen on the right side, making a couple of juke moves and dashing 60 yards untouched into the end zone with 19 seconds until halftime. And he wasn’t done, as he received the opening kickoff of the second half and sprinted through the coverage, dashing 95 yards for a score to give the Abes a commanding 19-7 lead. He later added an interception to snuff out a Bonney Lake drive. The Lincoln defense held firm for the rest of the game, containing McElderry and fellow running back T.J. Potts for the most part.
The Abes salted the game away late in the fourth when Kitna connected with Dionte Simon on a 31-yard out-and-up route on 3rd-and-1 to complete the scoring. Kitna, in his first varsity start, finished 14-for-29 for 244 yards and three scores, with one interception. Alvin Johnson had four catches for 59 yards, while Love had four catches for 39 yards.