Lincoln High proved to be too much for the Fremont Tigers in a game that spanned two days after severe weather forced the second half of the contest to be played on Saturday morning.
The Links took a 21-0 advantage heading into halftime on Friday night, before controlling the game in the second half to earn a 28-0 victory over Fremont on Saturday at Heedum Field.
Lincoln High’s first score came on its first offensive possession as John Goodwin bulled in for a three yard touchdown run, giving the Links a 7-0 lead with 8:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Following a three-and-out by the Tigers, the Links went to the air as quarterback Cedric Case aired out a 59-yard bomb to Zion Perry to extend Lincoln’s lead to 14-0 with 5:16 remaining in the first.
“We gave up a couple big plays, especially in the first half, and that just hurt us,” Fremont coach Seth McClain said. “If we take one or two of those away, we would’ve been in pretty good shape.”
In the second quarter, the Links offense continued their dominance as Case and Perry linked up again for a 12 yard touchdown pass, extending their lead to 21-0 with 10:20 left in the half.
The Links’ speed on the outside caused trouble for Tiger defenders throughout the game, McClain said.
“We knew from their previous scores and film that they might be the fastest team in the state, and we tried to practice and prepare for it but it’s hard to simulate that speed,” he said. “We just had a couple guys run right by us, I think it kind of surprised our kids a little bit. When you see it in real life, you see just how fast these guys really are.”
After struggling to sustain a drive through most of the first half the Tigers found success through the air as Riley Harms completed a 50-yard pass to Jake Sellon down to the Links 30 yard line and a few plays later he converted a 4th and 17 with a 31-yard pass to Nate Grimm to the 6-yard line.
But a sack and a holding penalty moved the Tigers out of field goal range and were forced to punt.
“We were able to move the ball at times, but on defense you can really see their speed and physicality,” McClain said. “They just fly to the ball.”
As the game went to halftime steady rain in Fremont gave way to lightning and thunder, forcing a weather delay and eventual postponement until Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.
In the third quarter, the Tigers drove into the Links redzone, but again were hampered by a sack and a penalty, coming up empty on their second redzone trip of the game.
The Tigers used a 19 yard completion from Harms to Grimm to reach the Links’ 38 yard line and later faced a 3rd and 10 which Harms converted with his legs to the Links’ 19 yard line.
But a delay of game on second down and another sack, this one by Garrett Hoagland, pushed the Tigers back to the 30 yard line. The Tigers couldn’t convert on a long fourth down attempt, giving the ball back to Lincoln.
“We moved the ball, but just had a couple mistakes here and there and couldn’t punch one in the endzone,” McClain said.
In the fourth quarter the Tigers’ first turnover of the day led to the Links final score of the game with 10:08 remaining in the game.
The Links capitalized, driving the ball down the field with a steady diet of Goodwin runs before Case punched it in on a quarterback sneak with 6 minutes remaining. Following a succesful PAT, the Links took a 28-0 advantage.
The Tigers defense was able to recover two Lincoln High fumbles in the final quarter, with Cody Fielder recovering a Frazzie Wynn III fumble with 3:51 remaining. Joe Kment also recovered a Links fumble with 2:27 remaining in the game.
“We made some adjustments defensively in the second half, and I thought we did some good things,” McClain said. “The weather played a factor, but I don’t think Lincoln had been held under 50 points this season, so I was proud of the way our guys stepped up and held them off.”
Following the Kment recovery, the Links finished the game with an interception as Chris Jones snagged a Harms pass as time expired to earn the 28-0 victory.
The Tigers, 4-3, host Millard North Friday.