Lincoln threatened on its opening series. Running the option to perfection, the Patriots took over at their own 45 and raced to the Garrard 10-yard line. Logan Boyd's 23-yard gain was the key play in the drive that ended when Justin Kolasa's 26-yard field-goal attempt was wide to the right.
"We had moved the ball well and I wanted to get some points on the board," Lincoln coach Robbie Lucas said. "Maybe we could have got things rolling had it gone through and had the lead."
Garrard answered by going 80 yards in just seven plays to score on its first possession. Quisenberry raced 52 yards on a draw play on the second play and quarterback Spencer Crutchfield ran for 10 more yards to the Lincoln 21. Crutchfield passed for 13 yards to Sean Paul Leavell and Quisenberry scored from the four two plays later to give the Golden Lions a 6-0 lead.
"We took the ball right down the field and scored just like we did against Dunbar," Stonebraker said. "But then we turned the ball over three times in the second quarter and couldn't put points on the board.
"It's disappointing because we didn't learn from our mistakes during the Dunbar game. We made the same mistakes again tonight. There was absolutely nothing pretty about how we played offensively tonight. I'm absolutely embarrassed."
He did think Lincoln caused part of the problems.
"You have to give Lincoln a lot of credit, though. They really got after us defensively," Stonebraker said. "They put pressure on us and we seem to get rattled so easy. We are going to get better. We just need to get moving along with the process right now."
Daniel Sinkhorn had a pair of fumble recoveries and Andrew Peek intercepted a pass for Lincoln (0-3) during the second frame. The Patriots reached paydirt following Sinkhorn's second fumble recovery when Boyd, who led the Patriots with 111 rushing yards on 16 attempts, raced 41 yards off tackle to score and Kolasa tacked on the extra point to give Lincoln a 7-6 advantage at the half.
"We were able to put points on the board tonight, but we still need more," Lucas said. "We played better, but we need to throw the ball down the field a little more to spread out the defense."
Garrard's defense held Lincoln to negative eight yards rushing during the second half and that pleased Stonebraker.
"Our defense got after them and played great," Stonebraker said. "They are holding us together right now."
The two teams swapped turnovers early in the third quarter and Garrard took advantage of a Jake Cool interception to regain the lead.
Taking over at the Lincoln 24, Crutchfield connected with Leavell for eight yards, then Quisenberry ran for 12 more yards to the Lincoln 4. Quisenberry scored on the next play and Garrard regained the lead at 12-7.
The Lions finally put the game away with another Quisenberry score midway through the fourth period. Once again Cool set up the score with an interception that was returned to the Lincoln 20. Crutchfield threw to Dan Leavell for 18 yards on the first play following the theft and Quisenberry scored on the next play to give Garrard an 18-7 advantage.
The Patriots' brutal schedule continues next week when they travel to play two-time defending Class AAA runner-up Rockcastle County.
"It certainly doesn't get any easier for us," Lucas said. "We are playing quality competition to get ready for district play. We're getting better every week. That's what we are trying to do."
Garrard will face its second Class AAAA opponent in Bryan Station. It will be the Lions' home opener after three straight games on the road.
"Having to play Bryan Station next week is a scary thought after the way we played tonight," Stonebraker said. "I may not sleep at all."