Pats rally for victory

October 03, 2004

LEBANON - Lincoln County started off slowly, but the Patriots recovered to score 21 second-half points and defeat host Marion County 21-16 Friday.

Marion (1-5, 0-1 Class AAA, District 4) recovered a Lincoln fumble on the opening kickoff and scored on its first drive with just three minutes gone.

"We started off the game asleep," Lincoln coach Larry French said.

Lincoln (2-4, 1-0) made four trips inside the Marion 20-yard line in the first half, but still trailed 7-0 at the half.

Marion kicked a 33-yard field goal early in the third quarter to go up 10-0, but French said Lincoln's defense began looking better after senior Andrew Smith was moved to nose guard.


"Andrew gave us a big lift in there midway through the third quarter, and he just started dominating there," French said. "He may have earned himself a starting position."

Meanwhile, the Patriots' offense finally got going. Braxton Miller scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 68-yard run to cut the lead to 10-6, and a safety got Lincoln within two points.

In the fourth quarter, Matt Blair intercepted a Marion pass that set up Miller's 28-yard scoring run and put Lincoln up 15-10. Phil Collins then recovered a fumble with 4:41 to play, and quarterback Jared Long ran 22 yards for the Pats' final score.

Marion got within 21-16 on Adam Blair's 15-yard score with one minute to go, but Casey Reed recovered the onside kick to end the game.

Miller rushed 10 times 130 yards and two touchdowns, while Hagan Folger had 57 yards on 17 carries.

Long was 2-for-10 for 35 yards passing, and the Patriots' offense totaled 250 yards.

Marion had just 152 yards of offense.

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