LINCOLN – Pell City overcame four first-half turnovers to defeat Lincoln 30-7 on Friday night. With the win Pell City improves to 2-0 on the season.
“As always, the next win is a big win,” Pell City head coach Brooks Dampeer said. “We turned the ball over too many times; we are fortunate that we played well on defense and held them to only seven points in the first half. We just have to keep getting better. … We have to hold onto that football. I am proud that we started faster offensively. We have to finish what we start. I challenged them at halftime to go out there and finish and hit them in the mouth. So that is what we tried to do.”
Turnovers hurt Pell City in the first half. The Panthers turned the ball over four times in the first half, including three times deep inside Golden Bears territory.
On the opening drive of the game, Pell City drove down to the Lincoln 18-yard line, but Chris Lynch fumbled and Lincoln recovered the football at the 11-yard line.
On their second possession of the game, Pell City put together a 69-yard drive, but Javon Russell fumbled into the end zone, which was recovered by a Lincoln defender.
Dampeer wanted his Panthers offense to get off to a fast start, and they did. Pell City (2-0) finally was able to put together a drive that resulted in a touchdown at the end of the first quarter. Lynch capped off an 82-yard drive on a 15-yard touchdown run up the middle of the Golden Bears’ defense for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
Lincoln (0-1) finally got on the board after the Panthers’ fourth turnover of the game. Lynch recorded his second fumble of the game to give the Golden Bears the ball at the Pell City 30-yard line.
Jauntavius Johnson capped off the drive as he bulldozed his way through a Pell City defender for a 1-yard touchdown. Mason McLean’s point-after attempt was good to give Lincoln a 7-6 lead with 4:57 left in the first half.
It was all Pell City in the second half.
The Panthers got on the board on their opening possession of the second half.
The Panthers got good field position as McLean picked up a bad snap on a punt attempt and he tried to run for the first down but he came up short to give the ball to Pell City at the Lincoln 48-yard line.
Hudson Hughes found JaDarius Marbury for a 30-yard gain to the Lincoln 18-yard line. A personal foul penalty set up first-and-goal for the Panthers at the 7-yard line. Devon Mitchell scored on a misdirection handoff on the next play. Hughes found Chris Lynch alone in the end zone for the two-point conversion to give Pell City a 14-7 lead with 8:49 left in the third quarter.
Lynch had a huge game for the Panthers. The sophomore running back rushed for 170 of Pell City’s 357 yards on the ground Friday. On the Panthers’ second drive in the second half, he displayed his speed as he exploded down the left side line for a 45 yard run down to the Lincoln 35-yard line. On the ensuing play, Russell went up the middle for a 24-yard gain to the 11-yard line. The Golden Bears defense stiffened and held the Panthers out the end zone. Sergio Alverez hit a 26-yard field goal to give Pell City a 17-7 lead.
The Panthers added two scores in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Hudson capped off an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a 23-7 lead.
Luke Brashear intercepted Caldwell’s pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 30-7.
“We have a lot to fix,”Dampeer said. “We have to keep getting better every week, and that is just part of it. It is just like life – you always have to keep getting better and better. Either you are getting better or worse.”
Lincoln had three turnovers in the game and just 230 yards of total offense. Pell City, on the other hand, racked up 551 yards of total offense.
“I thought we came out and we had some mental errors right there in the beginning that got us in bad position,” Lincoln head coach Brad Wallace said. “We understand that as a team, and when I talked to the team a while ago they all shook their heads. Monday we have to get up and put our hard hats back on and get back to work. We are going to get better and better each week. Our offensive line is getting there, but we are not fully there. We are still not getting all of our calls. We are going to be fine; we have to take it upon ourselves that we are going to get better. If we do that, we are going to be a better football team as the year progresses.”
Lincoln hosts St.Clair County next Friday. Pell City welcomes Chilton County to Pete Rich Stadium.
Contact LaVonte Young at email@example.com.