By T. Scott Boatright
SHREVEPORT — Coming off a big loss last week against Homer, Lincoln Preparatory had the mission of turning things back around on the road at Magnolia School of Excellence in Shreveport.
Consider it mission accomplished for the Panthers, who marched to a 45-12 win over the Mariners Friday night.
“We executed well,” said Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall. “We played better defense and executed on offense. We did what we practiced all week, which we failed to do during the previous week’s loss to Homer. It was just a good night for us.”
Senior quarterback Ta’Rell Simmons three for 190 yards and three scores on 8-of-14 passing for the Panthers while adding a 17-yard on his lone carry.
Simmons usually uses his legs to set up the pass, but that wasn’t the case against Magnolia – by design.
“I limited his play,” Hall said about Simmons. “He’s been banged up and I need him to be well going into next week’s game against Haynesville. So I limited his running and I told him to get his behind back there in the pocket and throw the ball.
“He threw the ball well and did an awesome job doing that. He showed he can be one-dimensional when we need him to. He keeps this ship going and I need him healthy.”
Picking up the rushing slack for Simmsons were Dmitry Payne and Jarmarius Buggs, who tallied 75 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
“He broke tackles and did everything I needed him to do, especially after cutting back in Ta’Rell’s rushes,” Hall said about Buggs.
Payne had four receptions for 84 yards and a score along with two carries for 68 yards and another touchdown for the Panthers.
Hall said he was pleased with the Panthers rushing attack, especially in light on another big change along its offensive front well.
“We lost our starting center with a broken leg a couple of weeks ago, and then last night his replacement was sick,” Hall said. “So we had to move our blue chip on the left side, Imani Marcel, to center, which isn’t a good thing because we like to run behind Marcel at guard.”
Lincoln Prep got a huge night from Emmanuel Bryant, who had two catches for 83 yards and two scores while adding two runs for nine yards and another touchdown while adding five tackles on the defensive side of the football.
Jamarrion Buggs also played a big role in the Panthers’ win as he added a 22-yard catch along with two interceptions and a pass defense.
“It was a good win because it gives us some good momentum going into a big game next week,” Hall said. “We also pulled ahead early and got the advantage to work on some things we’ll need to make happen next week against Haynesville. That’s a crucial game that we need to play well in and try to get a win. That would be a big help for playoff positioning.
The Panthers (5-3 overall and 4-3 in District 1-1A) will play that game against Haynesville (5-3, 4-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Jonesboro-Hodge football stadium.
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