Panthers look to bounce back on road at Lakeside

By T. Scott Boatright

Lincoln Preparatory School football coach Glen Hall has been here before.

And once again he’s looking for his Panthers to bounce back from a tough loss.

Three weeks ago the Panthers suffered a tough loss at Glenbrook before bouncing back the following week to defeat local rival and district foe Arcadia for the first time since 2015.

But after taking a step forward with that 33-6 win over the Hornets, the Panthers took another step back last week with a 70-12 loss at Calvary Baptist.

Now Hall knew his team would be hard-pressed to defeat a perennial powerhouse like the Cavaliers, but he wasn’t happy with the fact that he didn’t feel his team really even competed against Calvary Baptist.

The Panthers actually struck first in that game with a 109-yard “Pick Six” interception return by Dmitry Payne.

Payne also had two receptions for 30 yards along with seven kickoff returns for 290 yards — that’s an average of 41 yards per return.

But Cavalry ended up leading 28-6 by the end of the opening stanza and 56-6 at halftime. Scoring slowed down after intermission as the Cavaliers went deep into their bench, only scoring 14 points in the final 24 minutes.

“They had a couple of defensive scores and ran a punt back for a score,” Hall said. “There was nothing disrespectful on their behalf. They just executed and took it to us, even after putting in most of their young guys.

“We just didn’t execute. We read our own media stories and didn’t live up to the hype they created. We just didn’t play well on offense, or defense, and we gave up two special teams touchdowns. We didn’t even look at game film. We just put that one behind us and started getting ready for this weekend.”

Now Hall is hoping his Panthers (3-2 overall and in District 1-1A) can bounce back as they head west to Sibley to play at Lakeside, which stands at 3-1 overall.

The Warriors are coming off a 54-20 win at Beekman Charter. Lincoln Prep defeated Beekman 44-6 to open the season.

“I think we’ll get back on track,” Hall said of the upcoming game against Lakeside. “I’m not saying win or lose. I’m just saying that I think we’ll be back in concentration mode. It takes focus in order to execute. It all starts with hard work in practice and preparation. It wasn’t the loss to Calvary that upset me, it was the way we lost. We didn’t even give ourselves a chance to do anything. We didn’t try to compete, and that’s a mental thing.”

The focus for Hall is his plans on trying to beat the Warriors in the trenches, despite the fact that Lakeside has a pair of big and strong defensive linemen in Kris Redden and CJ Watts.

And part of that focus will be trying to shut down the Warriors’ primary offensive weapon — 5-6 running back Ashton Stewart.

“He weighs about 230 and will hit you,” Hall said of Stewart. “He goes out of his way to make contact. But I think we play well against players like that. We’ve played against them in the past. They have a good little receiver but I don’t think they’re really a passing team, so we’re going to load the box and get after them.

“We want to put our linemen against their linemen and see who wins the ballgame. Our line is one of the big strengths of his team and we need to remember to use it the right way.”

Photo: T. Scott Boatright


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