By T. Scott Boatright
BASTROP — It was a win nine years in the making.
Lincoln Preparatory School had never won a football season opener under that name.
The last time a Grambling High School football team had won a season opener came with a 32-22 victory over LaSalle in 2012.
But the Panthers made history on Friday night as Lincoln Prep blasted Beekman Charter 44-6 on the road.
“We went in there and took care of business this go round,” said Lincoln Prep head coach Glen Hall. “I don’t know how long it’s been since we won a season opener. The kids are buying into the system and we’re building that system around them and their talents. You mix it up, put them together and everybody’s just taking care of their individual roles and not trying to do other people’s jobs.”
Lincoln Prep’s offensive explosion was ignited by throwing a number of screen passes and running many sweeps against the Tigers.
The star of the night for the Panthers was Dmitri Payne, who came off the basketball team and caught four touchdown passes and had a little more than 300 yards receiving.
“Chauncy Harper had about 120 yards rushing running sweeps and our quarterback, Tarrell Simons, had about another 120 yards rushing while adding more than 400 passing yards,” Hall said. “We had a huge night offensively. But we still made a lot of mistakes. If we can just fix the mistakes that we made, I think we can continue to put up some solid numbers anyway.”
Hall said that adding a number of players off the Panthers’ perennial powerhouse basketball team provided a big dose of athleticism to his football team.
“We gained three of four talented players when the basketball kids came out,” Hall said. “We’re getting a lot of output from those guys.”
Lincoln Prep next week hits the road to play at Ringgold, which lost its home season opener against Northwood Friday night by the score of 32-12.