By Joe Gisondi
Charleston struggled to generate offense Friday night, earning just seven first downs and compiling 139 yards in a 20-0 loss to Lincoln at Trojan Hill.
A week after rushing for 190 yards and scoring 30 points in a loss to Herscher, the Trojans gained about half that amount.
A week after running for 120 yards, senior Jeremiah Hayes was held to 37 yards on 11 carries. He now has 157 total rushing yards on 23 carries.
“We had to control Hayes,” said Lincoln High coach Matt Silkowski. “He is a very good player. We have a lot of respect for him.”
The passing game, meanwhile, generated only 41 yards on 12 attempts.
“There’s just too many little mistakes,” CHS Coach Jerry Payne said. “There’s some things we’ve made improvements on, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Trojans played well in short yardage situations, stopping Lincoln several times near the end zone and on third downs.
CHS, for instance, appeared ready to halt a TD near the goal line late on the first half. Several defenders clogged the lanes and hit a running back trying to slide between the tackles. On second down, DL Alex Stout then stood up Kion Carson before the quick 5-foot-5 back angled into the end zone, sliding into the end zone just inside the left pylon for Lincoln’s first score with 1:37 left in the half.
Charleston’s ability to clog holes also nearly halted Lincoln in the third quarter. After stopping Hayes up the middle on a second-and-2 play, safety Chet Shrader hit a RB hard at the line of scrimmage for no gain.
“We had swarming tackling,” said Hayes, who also plays linebacker. “I loved it. I loved every bit of it. And then we were every time we’d run up, we would get close. Everybody pushed the pile.”
But Lincoln, after a sluggish opening quarter, kept finding ways to convert. On fourth down, quarterback Darren Stevens hit Colbie Glenn in the flats for an eight-yard gain that extended a drive that yielded a second TD to make it 14-0 with 3:36 left in the third quarter.
Finally, CHS appeared to end another drive early in the fourth quarter after Shrader tackled a RB in the backfield for a three-yard loss on Lincoln’s next possession, which set up a fourth-and-5 on the Trojans 35-yard line. But RB Aiden Frye caught a short pass on the left side, broke a tackle, eluded a defender and scampered down the left sideline for a 35-yard score that made it 20-0 with 7:51 left in the game.
|2||1:32||Lincoln||Carson 2 run||Haro||0||7|
|3||3:36||Lincoln||Carson 1 run||Haro||0||14|
|4||7:51||Lincoln||Smith 35 pass||Blocked||0||20|
|27||Avg. Drive Start||37|