The Lincoln Prep Panthers football team is full of surprises

Monday, veteran coach Glen Hall’s search for a jamboree matchup Friday night struck gold, as the Panthers will be heading to Rayville Friday night where they’ll play the host Hornets – and their parish neighbors, the Cedar Creek Cougars.

“I think it will be great competition for us,” said Hall. “Rayville is always good and the Cedar Creek program always has a great foundation.”

That news came on the heels of a surprisingly strong performance Friday night in scrimmage action on the road against D’Arbonne Woods and host River Oaks in Monroe.

“The scrimmage went well. We have so many guys who are so new at the game, I didn’t expect what I saw. We had a whole lot of production,” said Hall. “We moved the ball up and down the field. We ran around on defense. I was really proud of them, to be able to start that way and be able to compete so early.”

Heading into the scrimmage, Hall was concerned that his young team needed some competitive experience before it could begin to round into form. That was not the case.

“The biggest surprise probably was my quarterback, Tyrell Simmons. He made some big throws, he ran the ball well, and he controlled the team. That’s what I wanted him to do. I didn’t think he’d be ready to do it this early, but he did a real good job for me,” said Hall.

“He only had one errant throw, and he had 2-3 dropped. He was putting the ball right on target.

“He had great protection. The big guys up front really stepped up, kept him in the pocket and gave him the opportunity to throw the ball,” the proud Lincoln Prep coach said.

The performance was equally impressive on defense.

“Our middle linebacker, Nyzaeious Grimsley, flew around and had a good scrimmage. He was real aggressive, had about seven tackles. Another very impressive young man was Chauncey Harper, who plays strong safety and doubles as my running back. Not only did he run the ball well, but he tackled well on defense. He may be my best tackler,” said Hall.

After having to sit out 2020 as a transfer, Jamarius Buggs made immediate impact on both sides of the ball.

“Buggs broke one for about 70 yards. Turned it up and took it all the way to the house,” said Hall. “He doubles as a strong safety, and had about six tackles, two for losses.”

To paraphrase an 80’s song, the Panthers looked so good, Hall had to wear shades.

“I had to take a second look watching the film,” Hall said. “I thought, ‘what did I just see?’ It was a pleasant surprise.

“More than anything, they played hard. We got fatigued and gave up a couple plays, but they came right back and made some more for me. They played winning football.”

Following Friday’s jamboree, Lincoln Prep kicks off the regular season at home Sept. 3 against Beekman Charter.

PHOTO:  Courtesy Lincoln Prep.

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