LINCOLN -- Javion Surles threw for three first-half touchdowns to lead No. 7-ranked Lincoln past Dallas County 38-8 in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs at Keith Howard Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
It was the Golden Bears’ first playoff win since 2016. Lincoln will travel to Andalusia in the second round next week. Andalusia defeated Trinity 24-0 on Friday night.
Lincoln head coach Matt Zedaker was pleased with the way the Golden Bears handled their business in the first half.
“It was a tremendous effort. We did what we wanted to do,” Zedaker said. “We came out fast and we came out strong. I am very proud of the way the boys came out and took it to them early and often.
“That was the plan the whole time -- and try not to make it a tight ballgame so we can get some rest. The first team really played well. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, and the defense was suffocating.
“This is what we have been working for all year. We started this thing on June 11 with summer workouts, and the first thing we did was run over the hill and say 2.6 seconds, because that was how much time was left last time we played. We got that monkey off our back.”
Lincoln lost its 2018 first-round playoff game on the last ply, falling 18-14 to Alabama Christian.
Friday would be different, however. Much different.
The Golden Bears scored on six of their first seven possessions in the first half.
Lincoln opened the game by taking the ball down the field for a score. Cam Reynolds reached pay dirt from 2 yards out to cap off a 55-yard drive to give the Golden Bears a 7-0 lead with 9:45 left in the first quarter.
Surles then got things going with his arm. The senior signal-caller went 6 of 13 passing for 168 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.
Surles connected with Brian Garrett, who out-jumped a Dallas County defender for a 30-yard touchdown on the Golden Bears’ ensuing possession to increase the lead to 14-0 with 2:02 left in the period.
In the second quarter, Lincoln kicker Shaggy Melltown split the uprights on a 22-yard field goal to make it 17-0 with 10:44 remaining in the half.
Lincoln closed out the half by scoring 14 points in the last 1:39.
Surles connected with DaZhone Finley for a 36-yard touchdown to make it 24-0.
After Lincoln’s defense forced its third turnover of the half, Surles connected with Garrett, who was all by himself, for a 44-yard score to make it 31-0. Garrett finished with 118 yards receiving.
Four to know
-Tre Wilson scored Lincoln’s lone touchdown in the second half on a 7-yard run. Wilson rushed for 75 yards on 13 carries after halftime.
-Lincoln forced four turnovers Friday. JD Davis, Issac Britt and Zac Wren recovered fumbles. Finley recorded an interception.
-Aaron Fails scored Dallas County’s lone touchdown.
-This was Lincoln’s sixth straight game scoring 34 points or more. The Golden Bears are 6-1 when they score 34 or more this season.
Golden Bears linebacker Keshon Townsend on Lincoln’s dominant defensive performance: “The defensive line definitely got after it. We were surprised that they were getting through so fast. The quarterback didn’t have time to throw the ball, so the linebackers had time to sack him.”
Lincoln (9-2) will travel to Andalusia (8-3) in the second round of the 4A playoffs next Friday night.