Truss finished with 87 yards rushing on 10 carries and scored the Golden Bears’ final touchdown, sealing a 20-7 victory over Anniston at Lott-Mosby Memorial Stadium.
“TJ did great,” Lincoln coach Ryan Herring said. “This was a big game for him and some of the other seniors. They really wanted this one.
“We have a good little rivalry going here with Anniston-Lincoln. He wanted me to feed him the ball, and finally I got smart and fed him the ball on the last drive and he scored.
Anniston struggled to move the ball on offense for most of the night. After returning the kickoff all the way to the Lincoln 26-yard line, the Bulldogs sputtered, failing to pick up a first down and turning the ball over on downs. The Golden Bears took advantage quickly.
Truss opened the game with carries of 22 and 20 yards to get the ball all the way down to Anniston’s 27-yard line. Quarterback Chance Byrd picked up 10 yards on a third-and-8 play to get the ball all the way down to the 3.
Lincoln would go backward from there after a false start and a loss of three yards by Truss, but Tykey Sillmon picked up eight yards on third down to set up a clutch 3-yard touchdown run from Byrd, making the score 7-0 after a successful extra point.
Anniston moved the ball all the way to Lincoln’s 24 behind the running back tandem of Rashard Williams and Zondrick Foster, but again failed to put up points.
“We made a few more mistakes than they did,” Anniston coach Eddie Bullock said. “When you play a team that comes in like that, whoever makes the least amount of mistakes is going to come out victorious, and that’s what happened to us.
“We had a couple of drives that we didn’t punch in the end zone, and then we had a couple of assignments that we missed, and, of course, we had some penalties that kind of hurt us too.”
Williams took a hard lick on the next drive and wouldn’t return to the game, and the Bulldogs offense struggled to move the ball the rest of the way.
“(Losing Williams) hurt us a lot,” Bullock said. “I ended up having to go with some guys that didn’t get as many reps, and I had to go with an eighth-grader back there.
“We kind of had to change some things up to get them involved. That’s part of the game though. That happens.”
Lincoln went up 14-0 shortly after Williams left the game. A 29-yard pass from Byrd and a 13-yard run by Truss set up an 18-yard touchdown run from Sillmon.
Sillmon finished the game with 16 carries for 71 yards.
Anniston found some life just before halftime. Jamar Jones rattled off runs of 15, 17 and 10 yards on three consecutive plays to get the drive going. Quarterback Quintavious Dobbins then completed a 26-yard pass to Da’Monta Miller, setting up a 17-yard touchdown toss from Dobbins to Quin Jackson to cut the deficit to seven with 33.3 seconds before the break.
Defense was the name of the game in the second half as the teams swapped three-and-outs for the majority of the third quarter and early on in the fourth. The Bulldogs only managed one first down the entire second half.
“We played hard and we played fast,” Herring said. “We just had a couple of mental errors. Other than that, I thought we played great. We had a couple of missed tackles and a couple of mental errors, but other than that I thought we played a great game on defense. But Anniston did too. Anniston played a great game on defense. They hit us in the mouth and made us like it.”
After getting a big stop midway through the fourth, Anniston’s Spencer Howard threw an interception that set up Lincoln’s final touchdown.
Truss carried the ball in from 10 yards out to cap the scoring.