By Race Archibald
Charleston running back Cory Spour finished the game with 15 carries for 206 yards and four touchdowns.
He had 196 yards and four touchdowns at halftime.
Behind Spour, the Trojans built a 34-0 lead in the first half, and were in cruise control in the second to blow out Lincoln 54-0 Friday night at Trojan Hill.
“Our line was working hard all week,” Spour said. “The holes were there for us to run through tonight. Everything was working, we couldn’t go wrong with a play.”
Lincoln (0-1) had two drives in the first quarter that started deep in Charleston territory, due to a fumbled snap on a punt, and a strip-sack, but the Trojan defense held its own, keeping the Railsplitters off the scoreboard.
Charleston head coach Jerry Payne said it was the start his team wanted.
“My captains came to me and said we want to set the tone,” Payne said. “We started off a little slow and shaky on offense, but they responded well and worked to set that tone.”
The bulk of the Charleston (1-0) points came in the second quarter, where they rattled off four touchdowns. The highlight of the scoring was Spour taking a pitch from quarterback Jack Nelson to the right and sprinting past the Lincoln defense for an 83-yard touchdown, extending the lead 21-0.
Wide receiver Sam Schuette was another standout performer for the Trojans, catching three passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He also had two interceptions on defense.
But it was Spour’s performance on the ground that paved the way for Charleston. At times he looked unstoppable, breaking multiple tackles on every long run. He had six runs of 10-plus yards on the night.
“I played basketball so I only had a few weeks of practice,” Spour said. “But we worked hard every day and made sure to get our time and reps in.”
Spour made it 34-0 after a six-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to play in the first half.
Schuette’s touchdown was a 21-yard catch-and-run on fourth down in the first quarter, after quarterback Jack Nelson scrambled in the backfield, and found Schuette wide open downfield, as Charleston went up 7-0.
Nelson, making his first career start, completed 11 of 15 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was a little shaky at first like everyone was,” Payne said. “But he did a good job leading the offense, he had a lot of stuff to read.”
The combination of Spour on the ground and Nelson through the air provided the Trojans with an offensive attack the Railsplitters could not stop.
Charleston had 267 yards rushing, and 192 passing, to go with 21 first downs, compared to Lincoln’s six.
The Trojans’ defense suffocated Lincoln, holding them to 118 total yards of offense. Railsplitter quarterback Elijah Pollice completed 8 of 25 passes for 108 yards, along with the two interceptions to Schuette. Lincoln managed only 10 rushing yards, as the Charleston defensive line continued to invade the backfield.
Charleston kept Lincoln off their side of the field on every drive except for one.
“As a team, it brings the whole mood of the season up and lifts our spirits,” Spour said.
Spour added three catches for 28 yards and a touchdown to his impressive statline, showcasing his versatility on offense.
Ty Courtney and Hunter White each added a rushing touchdown in the second half as Spour was given a rest after the large halftime lead.
Nelson’s third touchdown pass went to Brayden Rennels in the third quarter, where he delivered a great throw down the right side of the field for 22 yards, extending the lead 41-0.
It’s hard to ask for a better performance from the Trojans, who rarely had a bad play all night.
“I told everyone I don’t expect you to be perfect, but I want you to give me a perfect effort on every play,” Payne said. “We had very few mistakes, and made that perfect effort.”