By T. Scott Boatright
The Lincoln Preparatory School must have set their alarm clock 12 minutes late Thursday night during their Homecoming game at Panthers Field.
But that alarm sounded to start the second-quarter as a pair of touchdowns in the first minute of the stanza propelled the Panthers to a 44-0 win over Plain Dealing for their first win of the season.
“It just feels good to get a win in the books,” said Panthers coach Glen Hall. “We made quite a few mistakes in the first quarter. We had some chances we could have capitalized on, but we didn’t.
“I think we thought we had an advantage and didn’t have their heads in the game. This still wasn’t the kind of complete game we’re looking for. But we finally woke up and started playing better. Now the players hopefully realize the kind of team we can become if we just stay focused and execute. This is something we can build on, anyway.”
The Lions dominated the opening stanza but failed to score. Plain Dealing received a big opportunity on the next play as Ardrevious Washington-Carper picked off Panthers’ quarterback Jordan Brown to give Plain Dealing possession at the Lincoln Prep 40-yard line with 1:58 remaining in the first quarter.
But the Panthers held Plain Dealing to a three-and-out, forcing a Plain Dealing punt.
And on first down, Lincoln Prep running back Jaylin Huntley burst right off tackle and was off to the races on a 60-yard scoring scamper to put the Panthers on top 8-0 at the 11:52 mark of the second quarter.
On the ensuing series, the Lions turned it over deep in their own territory before Brown scampered two yards to paydirt to stretch the Lincoln Prep lead to 14-0 with 11:23 left before halftime.
“We went back to the basics just trying to get the guys started,” Hall said. “We’ve got a couple of backs that can run the ball well. And we had a couple of fullbacks play good games for us, too.
“I didn’t start a couple of guys tonight for disciplinary reasons, but once they got in there we settled down and played well. Hopefully that’s something the whole team can learn from.”
Lincoln Prep pushed its lead to 22-0 at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter as running back LaMarion Burton broke through a huge hole on a dive play up the middle and ran 52 yards for the score.
Huntley added his second touchdown run, this time from five yards out, with 5:45 remaining before halftime to put Lincoln Prep on top 28-0, and the Panthers added a safety shortly later when the Lions’ punter had a snap fly over his end into the end and had to dive on the ball, giving the Panthers a safety.
D’Tavion Wright’s 34-yard scamper at the 2:14 mark of the second quarter gave the Panthers a 38-0 lead at the half.
Lincoln Prep scored on its first possession of the second half as Marvin Johnson did the scoring honors with a 28-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers on top 44-0.
That started a running clock and made quick work of the rest of the contest.
“We have some backs that can run the ball,” Hall said. “We’ve just got to get everybody into the right position where we can give them the right touches at the right time. Early on we just had a lack of concentration. We got the win, but we’ve got to learn to start the game like we end the game.
“Against a good team like Arcadia next week — they’re gonna run the dive and run the veer, and they’re a good team. We can’t make the kind of mistakes we made early on tonight against them, or it will be a long night.”
That game against Arcadia will be the third straight home contest for the Panthers (1-1) and will be played starting at 7 p.m. next Thursday night.