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Lincoln hammers Brookside Christian 55-20, improves to 3-0

By: Galen Kusic Special to The News-Messenger
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The undefeated Lincoln High Zebras made a statement about who this football team really is Friday night at home, destroying the Brookside Christian Knights 55-20. The Lincoln defense was ferocious, forcing five turnovers that eventually led to scores. The Zebras also blocked a punt and stopped the Knights twice in fourth-down situations. The real story however was the Zebra offense firing on all cylinders for the first time this season. By the end of the first half, Lincoln was up 34-0 with no intentions of slowing down. "It always feels good when you can finally get everything clicking," Lincoln senior quarterback Alex Stewart said. "We didn't play perfect, but we played a solid game and I'm proud of everyone." After a Dylan Croisant interception return to the Knights 20, senior fullback Tim Bevins got the scoring started when he carried the ball five straight times - eventually punching it in from one yard out. It was a sign of things to come - as the Zebras would score again after Juan Castillo recovered a fumble and returned it 47 yards deep into Knights territory. After a 25-yard Moses Stanley run to the one, Stewart ran a naked bootleg into the end zone to make it 14-0. "We felt like we could move the ball on this team," Lincoln head coach Ken Lowe said. "I was glad to see we were able to do that." After a blocked punt was recovered deep in Knights territory, on the first play Stanley took a sweep and hit paydirt from 26 yards out to make it 21-0. After the Knights turned the ball over on downs, Stanley had a nice 29-yard run to the one before junior running back Oscar Fernandez punched it in, making it 27-0 after a missed point after attempt. After yet another turnover on downs, the Zebras scored once more when Stewart found Stanley in the flat for a 24-yard touchdown to put Lincoln up 34-0 at halftime. Brookside Christian came out with some fire in the third when quarterback Tony Rodriguez found wide receiver Larry Fullard for a 13-yard touchdown to bring them back within 34-8. The Zebras would have no part of that - as Stewart found Stanley again on the next possession for a 31-yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 41-8. The Knights couldn't stop Stanley all night. He ended with three carries for 80 yards and a touchdown - and caught two balls for 55 yards and two touchdowns. The Knights tried to make some noise when Rodriguez found his favorite target Alex Lee for a 69-yard bomb to bring Brookside Christian to within 41-14. "When we saw them on film, their offense was explosive," Lowe said. "We knew we had to stop their running back Shaquille Hill and receiver Lee, and we did for the most part." Coming into the game, Hill was averaging 174 yards a game rushing, and Lee already had 14 catches for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Despite a few big plays, both their numbers were nowhere near that against the Zebras. Lincoln answered back again when junior Bobby Humiston got the carry and took it 52 yards for a touchdown. The real dagger came a couple minutes later when Lincoln junior defensive lineman David Silchuck picked off a Rodriguez pass, ran straight over a Knights' defender, and took it 80 yards to the promised land. "I was thinking end zone all the way," Silchuck said. "We're going to bring it next week." The Knights would score once more when Rodriguez linked up with Fullard for a 16-yard touchdown reception to make the final score 55-20. Lincoln will take on league rival Whitney next week at home in what should be a real test for the 3-0 Zebras. "Basically we already have to turn the switch and prepare for Whitney (2-1)," Lowe said. "It's obviously fun to win a game like this tonight, but it can get you a little bit too excited and make your focus go away." "We're going to need to play perfect to beat Whitney," Stewart said. "There is always something to improve on, and I think we have a good shot at winning."