Lincoln Prep looks for first win over Arcadia in six years 

By T. Scott Boatright

After a 2-0 start prior to a frustrating loss to Glenbrook last week, the Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers are looking to get back on a winning track this Friday as they play at longtime nearby foe Arcadia.

Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall expects to see a much different performance than his Panthers showed during their 48-14 loss at Glenbrook.

“It’s a rivalry game, so it’s going to be what it always is — an all-out brawl,” Hall said about his team preparing for Arcadia. 

“We’ve come out with a couple of good practices,” Hall added Tuesday afternoon. “The kids are asking a lot of questions about some things that they’ve seen on film and some things we can do to get better, and that’s a good sign — that they’re being interested and even proactive in what we’re trying to do.”

Another good sign is improving health for the Panthers.

Lincoln Prep’s struggles last week against Glenbrook came largely in part to a pair of key two-way linemen, including blue-chip prospect Imani Marcel, being out due to injury.

“He’s already back out practicing,” Hall said about Marcel. “They were nagging injuries so we gave them last week off to try to get healthier but they’ll be back for the Arcadia game.”

Starting with solid field position on the game’s opening series after Lincoln Prep failed to recover an onsides kick attempt, the Apaches marched 55 yards on eight plays, capping things off with a 17-yard scoring scamper by DJ Carter for a 7-0 advantage only 1:09 into the contest.

Lincoln Prep didn’t score in that contest until the final play of the first half when Dmitry Payne scooped up a Glenbrook fumble and raced it back 80 yards to cut the Apaches’ advantage to 36-6 at halftime.

The Panthers’ seemed to settle down and tighten things up in the second half against Glenbrook, and that’s something Hall hopes carries over into the Arcadia game.

“Sometimes it takes something like last week to wake a team up,” Hall said. “I think the Glenbrook game will be one of those things.”

Arcadia has gotten off to a 0-3 start this season, falling 62-0 last week at home to Calvary Baptist.  Lincoln Prep has technically not defeated Arcadia so far. The last time the football program defeated the Hornets came in 2015 when the school was known as Grambling Laboratory School and defeated Arcadia 38-22.

It officially became Lincoln Preparatory School at the start of the 2016-17 school year. Since then the Hornets have defeated the Panthers by a combined score of 172-45, winning 42-8 last season, 40-8 in 2019, 54-6 in 2018, 36-25 in 2017 and 36-6 in 2016.

While the local rivalry still burns deep, Hall admits a win over the Hornets is something his team badly needs. 

“They say it’s not a rivalry until both teams win every other year or something close to that,” Hall said. “Arcadia has had the upper hand in recent years. We’ve been down, and it seems like maybe those roles have possibly reversed this season.

“But I really don’t know. You can’t take anything for granted when it comes to playing them. So hopefully we can catch them and play a good game and get back on a winning track before we have to go face Calvary Baptist, which is one of the best football schools in the state.”

Photo:  T. Scott Boatright