Many teams in the area decided to beat the heavy rains and have their games on Thursday instead of playing on Friday. Two teams who braved the elements and kept their game on Friday were the East Lincoln Mustangs and the West Lincoln Rebels. The Rebels have had a great season, going 7-2. East Lincoln was hoping to punch their ticket to the playoffs. They were 4-5. But at the end of the night, it would be the Rebels left standing.
It was a defensive struggle the first half. The first quarter was a stalemate. Midway through the second quarter, the Rebels broke the stalemate with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Nakathon Phansook. Brendan Ikard’s run for the two-point conversion made it 8-0. The Rebels had a chance to put points on the board earlier after recovering an East Lincoln fumble. But a penalty backed them up and turn it over on downs. 8-0 would remain the score at halftime.
The Rebels would add to their lead in the third quarter when quarterback Seth Willis connected with Jesse Hatcher for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Canon Bridges run for the two-point conversion gave the Rebels a 16-0 lead. The Rebels would deliver the knockout punch with less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by Phansook (PAT failed).
The Mustangs tried to get a drive going in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout but the Rebels would keep the Mustangs out of the end zone. That would be twice on the night that the Mustangs would go deep in at would be twice on the night that the Mustangs would go deep in Rebel territory and come up empty.
“Give a lot credit to our players and coaches tonight. Our players played real hard and proud of our coaches and the hard work they put in this week against a tough team, East Lincoln.” said West Lincoln head coach Tom Sain “It’s been a long time since we beaten them. We knew they had a good team. They’re big, they’re physical. They played a really good game. I’m proud of our guys, the way they worked all week and got ready and prepared.”
“I’m proud of the way our defense stepped up and played tonight against a really good team. They have a lot of offensive weapons.” Sain said about the defense “We knew we’d have to prepare for (Sidney Dollar). He does a great job. He’s such a great athlete. He gets out there and they get the ball to him. We knew we’d have to play real well against him.”
“We just struggled offensively to get moving and when we did, we got some penalties, turnovers and things of that nature.” Said East Lincoln head coach David Lubowicz “I think (West Lincoln) played a good ball control offense and used the field to their advantage. They were very impressive tonight.”
“They kept us in every ball game and given us a chance.” Lubowicz said about the defense “We’re just not finishing drives. Kudos to the defense. They have done a great job this whole year. You can only ask so much of a kid before he starts getting tired and giving up some yards and such.”
West Lincoln beats East Lincoln for the first time since 2004 and the first time at home since 2001. The Rebels (8-2)(4-2) travel to Lake Norman Charter (2-8)(0-6) next week. A win next week would give them the most wins in program history. East Lincoln (4-6)(2-4) hosts Newton-Conover (4-6)(2-4).