By T. Scott Boatright
The Lincoln Preparatory School football team faces its toughest test so far this season as they play at Calvary Baptist on Friday at the season’s midpoint.
Maybe even worse for the Panthers, they’ll be facing a Cavaliers team, ranked No. 2 in this week’s Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 1A Prep Football Poll, coming off a 23-14 loss to Class 5A Rummel, which stands at 2-0 in a season shortened by Hurricane Ida’s August strike on south Louisiana.
Calvary (3-1) opened the season with wins over Logansport, Glenbrook and Arcadia by a combined score of 167-26. That’s an average win of 56-9 before the Cavaliers fell to Rummel.
Rummel, the defending Div. IV state champion, held a three-point lead over Calvary heading into the fourth quarter, when the Raiders went on a 12-play, 75-yard drive to go on top 23-14 after the missed extra point, with all 75 yards of the drive coming on the ground.
The Raiders sealed the win away on the ensuing series as they picked off a pass thrown by Cavaliers quarterback Landry Lyddy for a second time in the second half of the contest.
The Cavaliers can successfully throw the ball, too, as Lyddy, a Louisiana Tech commitment, showed by firing a pair of scoring strikes against the Raiders.
Lincoln Prep (3-1) is coming off a big 33-6 win at Arcadia last week. It marked the first time the Panthers had defeated the rival Hornets since 2015.
But the prior week the Panthers played their worst game of the season in a 48-14 loss at Glenbrook.
Lincoln Prep head coach Glen Hall said he’s been reminding his team in practices this week about that Glenbrook loss for specific reasons.
“I’m just reminding them of what happened the last time we didn’t prepare mentally,” Hall said. “Because both of those teams are mirror teams. Glenbrook does the same thing Calvary does. Those teams are mirrors of each other. They both run the spread. They both throw the ball. They both run draws and both run screens.
“But of course, Calvary is a well-oiled machine. They have more and better weapons and truly have the ability to beat schools much bigger than they are and that have many more talented players. They’ve proven that. Calvary is one of the best programs in the state on any level.”
But Hall also knows what his team needs to do to play better than it did against Glenbrook and possibly give themselves the chance to shock the Louisiana prep football world.
“We just need to go in there and when we get the ball, we need to control it,” Hall said. “We have to focus on time possession drives. We want to rush the ball. We want to run behind my big line and get first down after first down. We’ll need to execute on the play action pass and score. If we can do all of that, we can make the game shorter and maybe give ourselves a chance.”
The fact that the Panthers were playing short of a pair of key linemen against Glenbrook, including blue chipper Imani Marcel, is a reason to feel a little more hopeful against Calvary.
“Not having those guys against Glenbrook showed,” Hall said. “Glenbrook spent the night in our (offensive) backfield that game. We can’t let that happen again. But the fact we have our line back completely healthy is crucial. That showed in the way we played against Arcadia last week.
“We know what we’re up against. All I want to see is for us to play a better game than we did against Glenbrook. I want to see us execute and play competitive football — Lincoln Prep Panthers football. That’s all I can really ask for. But if we can do that, who knows. I promise one thing. We’re going in with the mindset of fighting to beat Cavalry and surprise people. We have something going this season and we don’t want to stop now.”
Photo: Tony Valentino
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