Wednesday, June 28, 2017 This Week's Paper


After the Lincoln Abes dispatched the Wilson Rams on Oct. 19, thoughts turned to the Foss Falcons and a seemingly easy walk in the park. But the Falcons were up to the challenge at first, trailing just 12-7 early in the third quarter before Lincoln shifted into another gear and topped Foss 32-7 on Oct. 26. “We did a good job of screwing around in the first half,” said Lincoln head coach Jon Kitna. “Foss was doing a good job of bringing a lot of guys that we could not pick up early.” The Abes got on the board when quarterback J’Maka Love engineered an eight-play, 60-yard drive with Jonathan Hardnett finding the end zone from five yards out for a 6-0 Lincoln lead in the first quarter. The Falcons would employ a new wrinkle with 6-foot-1, 250-pound running back Patiole Pesefea collecting early yards against a befuddled Lincoln defense, but the Abes found a way to stymie the bruising Foss back in the second half. “We changed up a little bit in the second half on the defensive side and forced Foss to go over the top a little,” said Kitna.

Leading 12-0 early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons found a spark in quarterback Omar Morris. After missing on three prime scoring opportunities in the first half, Morris found the end zone on a four-yard sprint on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 12-7. The Lincoln offense found their mojo after that. Love was the catalyst again, taking Lincoln 65 yards in seven plays to make it 19-7. The Abes put the game away three minutes later, as Love hit Dionte Simon from seven yards out for a 25-7 lead with 5:11 left. “Love played a great game,” said Kitna, who was also pleased with his patchwork offensive line. “The fill-in (linemen) did a great job tonight. I was very pleased with their effort.”

After the game the attention turned to Lincoln’s district playoff opponent on Nov. 2, the defending 3A state champion Bellevue Wolverines. “Bellevue is a great football team, and we’ll have to get into them very early if we hope to win this game,” said Kitna. “We’ll definitely have to bring our A game and maintain it all game long. We’ll see what happens. “That would be one great thing to pull that game out in our first year.”

By Steve Mullen

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