Lincoln squanders first-half opportunities, falls to Pulaski

October 19, 2003|GARY MOYERS

STANFORD - Lincoln County coach Robbie Lucas knew after his team's 42-13 loss to visiting Pulaski County Friday that his team missed its chance.

More than once, actually.

The Patriots drove inside the Maroons' 25-yard line four times in the first half but came away with nothing on the scoreboard to show for their efforts.

"Missed opportunities in the first half killed us," said Lucas, whose team fell to 2-6 overall and 1-2 in the district. "We moved the ball up and down the field the entire first half, and could have easily gone in at halftime with 28 points. You just can't afford to let those opportunities get away against a team like Pulaski."

On its second possession of the game, Lincoln drove to a first-and-goal at the 10 and came away with nothing after four plays netted five yards.


Its second possession was a clock-eater that began at its own 21, and died at the Pulaski 24 after a missed field goal.

The third possession was a heartbreaking repeat - the drive fizzled at the Pulaski 19 when Jason Brummett's fourth-down run came up inches short of a first down.

And a fourth drive near the end of the half ran out of gas at the Maroons' 22 after a penalty and two incomplete passes.

"So many chances in that first half," Lucas said, shaking his head. "It wasn't from lack of effort; our kids played very hard, especially early. But it was frustrating, because we kept putting ourselves in position to score without getting points on the board."

Meanwhile, Pulaski's offense was able to rack up 20 first-half points, scoring first on a long reverse and then riding quarterback Cole Draughn's strong arm for two more scores.

Dusty Arthur took a handoff on a double reverse and raced 86 yards late in the first period to put Pulaski on top, then Draughn began clicking with an aerial attack. He completed four passes for 60 yards and ran once for 20 to get the Maroons on the board with their second score early in the second period. He followed that on the next possession with a run of 41 yards and a completion for 28 yards to set up Jonathan Denham's 12-yard touchdown run.

"They have a lot of speed, and they make you miss a lot of tackles," said Lucas. "Draughn is a fine, fine quarterback who can hurt you in a lot of ways."

Draughn completed 11 of 18 passes in the game for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran the ball eight times for 126 yards. Pulaski racked up 520 yards in total offense, offsetting a whopping 16 penalties for 150 yards.

Lincoln got a yeoman's effort on the ground from running back Logan Boyd, who carried the ball 22 times for 108 yards. The Patriots ended the game with 189 yards on the ground and 62 yards passing for a total of 251 yards.

Pulaski broke Lincoln's heart on the first play from scrimmage to begin the second half. Denham sprinted 65 yards on a reverse just 12 seconds into the third period, and the kick put the Maroons up 27-0.

"That killed us," said Lucas. "We'd played so hard in the first half with nothing to show for it, and when they broke that big play to start the second half it really took the air out of our kids."

Pulaski added two more scores in the third period to take a 42-0 lead into the final period, but Lincoln got on the board twice in 15 seconds in the fourth period.

Hagan Folger scored Lincoln's first points on a 3-yard run with 4:27 to play after Shane Payton recovered a Pulaski fumble at the Maroon 19. Lincoln then tried an onside kick that was recovered by Pulaski at its 49. On its next play a Maroon fumble was scooped up by Earl Abee and returned all the way to the Pulaski 22. Braxton Miller scored from there to give Lincoln its final points.

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