Panthers fall at Richwood

By T. Scott Boatright

MONROE — Lincoln Preparatory School head coach Glen Hall went into Friday night’s game at Richwood looking for his team to put forth a full 48 minutes of play and to finish strong.

Instead, the Panthers never got started as the Rams raced to a 48-0 win over Lincoln Prep.

It was the Panthers’ worst shutout loss since falling 57-0 to Haynesville on Oct. 30, 2020, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They punched us in the face first, right off the back, and it looks like our guys can’t take a lick,” Hall said. “They punched us early and we never recovered. It all just spiraled down from there.”

But for a moment, the Class 1A Panthers looked like they might be ready for the 3A Rams.

Lincoln Prep took the opening kickoff and used a long completion to get all the way down to the Richwood 25-yard line.

Then the wheels came off in familiar fashion this season.

“We get into scoring position, and there we go again with a bad snap, just like we’ve done so many times earlier this season,” Hall said. “We just look at the ball on the ground and don’t try to jump on it. 

“So Richwood marches down and scores. Then they hold us to a three-and-out, and we’re back to punt, and my punter drops the ball and they recover. And then they score again. And it seemed like they didn’t stop scoring after that.”

Richwood built a 42-0 lead at halftime. But Lincoln Prep did get another scoring opportunity in the third quarter.

“I pulled (quarterback) Bralyn Mayfield in the third quarter and then I put Chauncy (Harper) at quarterback,” Hall said. “And he gets his shoulder bruised up.

“So then I put Brandon Heard in at quarterback. He runs for a 65-yard touchdown, but it’s called back on a holding penalty. He made some big plays after that but got worn down. He was tired, so then I had to pull him.”

At that point Hall made the move to his fourth quarterback of the contest — freshman Zion Hicks.

“So I put him in and he fumbled the ball right off,” Hall said. “It was just that kind of night. We never could get anything going. We never really even got started.”

Now 2-4 and preparing to open District 2-1A play next week at St. Frederick, Hall said he plans on making some changes getting ready for that contest against the 4-2 Warriors.

“I talked to the team about it after the game — we can’t take a lick in the mouth,” Hall said. “What I’m going to do next week, I think I’m going to move a lot of guys around. I’m going to play a lot more young guys. My seniors aren’t producing. So I’m going to play my younger guys and start preparing for the future.”

Hall said those plans will include playing Heard some at quarterback while also giving Hicks more reps under center.

“We’re not going to lay down,” Hall said. “We’re going to keep on fighting. But I don’t see any other choice but to go with the ones who want to fight, and that means giving my young guys more playing time and prepare for the future.

“Maybe that will light some kind of fire as we start district play. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win, even if that might mean start preparing now to win in the future.”

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