The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
Lincoln’s football team has continued to improve from week to week this season. Every one of their four wins is equally important, just ask Cougar Head Coach, Rob Hawkins, whose team is 4-2 heading into their bye week.
However, last Friday’s win over Lewis County is exactly what every coach looks for in teams of quality and timing. Before looking at this outing, let’s set the scenario with a history lesson. Lincoln started the season with a setback at Braxton County. They would bounce back with a three-game win streak (Philip Barbour, Liberty, and East Fairmont were their opponents). Two weeks ago provided an emotional loss to Class AA three time defending state champion Bridgeport in Shinnston.
Last week held the biggest road test for the Cougars this year. The Minutemen had not lost at home, were on a four-game winning streak, and were ranked #7 in Class AA. Hawkins and company spotted the hosts a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play. Most teams would be in a vulnerable state (Lincoln had not scored in five consecutive periods and confidence would expectedly be running low). Well this isn’t your average group and they proceeded to put 21 points on the board to take a touchdown lead into the half time break. Do you remember those early Lewis County touchdowns? They would be the only ones they would record in the outing as the Cougars dominated play in the second half, holding a 14-3 advantage en route to the 35-17 victory.
Hawkins has moved his squad into a tie for 14th which puts them right in the middle of the playoff picture and their confidence level has to be at an extremely high level. This week is open and it affords Hawkins and his staff the opportunity to load up for the stretch run.
Lincoln finishes up the regular season with three of their remaining four games at home. Roane County, Grafton (at McKinney Field), Robert C. Byrd and North Marion, will afford the Cougars an opportunity to pick up some bonus points and possibly climb the ladder in the Class AA playoff picture.
Bridgeport, Liberty, Robert C. Byrd, and South Harrison all claimed wins this past week. These four teams outscored their opponents by an impressive 160-21 total. The Indians and the Hawks remained undefeated while the Mountaineers moved to 3-2 on their campaign. With the 35-0 win over Grafton, Flying Eagle Head Coach, Josh Gorrell picked up his first shutout win of his career.
South Harrison gets an early start this week as they host Tygarts Valley on Thursday evening. The kick off is set for 7:30 and Chris Nutter and I will broadcast the contest on 104.9 FM WPDX.
WVU moved to 4-0 with a thrilling come from behind 17-16 win over Kansas State this past Saturday in Morgantown. The Mountaineers trailed 13-0 at the break and didn’t hold a lead until 6:11 in the fourth quarter. The defense held the visitors to three points in the second half to aid an offensive unit that moved the ball for the majority of the afternoon, picking up 422 yards of total offense.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!