East Jessamine ran for 302 yards and kept the ball away from the Lincoln offense for long periods of time. However, the game's biggest play came from the East Jessamine defense when David Powers picked off a pass from Lincoln quarterback Austin Hinds late in period two with the Jaguars clinging to a 13-6 lead.
The Patriots had driven to the East Jessamine 20-yard line and were threatening to tie the game or take the lead when Hinds lofted a pass that Powers grabbed and returned 60 yards. If that wasn't bad enough, Lincoln had a costly — and obvious — pass interference penalty along with a face mask infraction that enabled East Jessamine to score on a 1-yard run by Seth Hunt just eight second before halftime.
Instead of a close game, East Jessamine went to halftime with a commanding 20-6 lead that Lincoln could never overcome.
"We are not a real good throwing team right now," Settles said of Hinds' 3-for-12 passing performance for 77 yards. "We can't handle many mistakes right now. We've got to do things sound and not put ourselves in position to lose. We'll reevaluate the plays that hurt us and moved forward.
"For his first start, I thought Hinds (who ran for 78 yards on 15 carries) was tremendous. It's not his ability I worry about. He just needs experience."
East Jessamine's first score came on a 41-yard run by Austin Hager, who ran for 104 yards on 19 carries. He made a spin move and broke two tackles with 1 minute, 9 seconds left in period one.
"We just didn't tackle well. They controlled the line and our linebackers did not play as well as I hoped they would," Settles said.
Lincoln evened the game at 6-6 when Hinds hit Ryan West on a slant pass that he turned into a 32-yard score by breaking a tackle.
"That was a big play we needed," Settles said.
East Jessamine responded with a 68-yard, eight-play drive that ended with Powers' 22-yard scoring pass to Hunt for a 13-6 lead midway of the second quarter. That was followed by Powers' interception that totally changed the game's momentum.
The Jaguars put the game out of reach with a 65-yard, eight-play drive to open the second half that Powers ended with a 9-yard run.
Hinds threw 19 yards to Matt Carrier for a fourth-quarter touchdown after completing a 26-yard pass to Julian Calhoun. But East Jessamine offset that with a 13-play drive — all on the ground — to score with 44 seconds left on Hunt's 1-yard run.
East Jessamine ran 56 times and averaged 5.4 yards per rush. Lincoln gained 129 yards on 35 carries.
"You can't win with those kind of totals," Settles said. "We have a lot of guys going both ways, but we just have to play better."
Despite last year's finish, Settles is confident Lincoln can do that, too.
"I am not as concerned with the score. I was watching our effort and intensity. They were both good," Settles said. "We just made too many mistakes. We have to learn not only to play with our heart, but also to play mistake-free. When we do that, then we can win a lot of games."
East Jessamine — Austin Hager 41 run (run failed), 1:09.
Lincoln — Ryan West 32 pass from Austin Hinds (kick failed), 11:15.
East Jessamine — Seth Hurst 22 pass from David Powers (Tyler Wood kick), 7:04.
East Jessamine — Hurst 1 run (Wood kick), :08.
East Jessamine — Powers 9 run (Cameron Thomas run), 8:00
Lincoln — Matt Carrier 19 pass from Hinds (run failed), 8:59.
East Jessamine — Hurst 1 run (kick failed), :44.
RUSHING—East Jessamine, Cameron Thomas 12-113, Austin Hager 19-109, David Powers 14-51, Seth Hunt 10-34. Lincoln, Austin Hinds 15-78, Julian Calhoun 11-27, Matt Carrier 4-20, Brandon Graham 4-10, Deon Shannon 1-minus 11.
PASSING—East Jessamine, Powers 1-4-0-22. Lincoln, Hinds 3-12-1-77.
RECEIVING—East Jessamine, Hunt 1-22. Lincoln, Ryan West 1-32, Calhoun 1-26, Carrier 1-19.E. JESSAMINE61486--34LINCOLN0606--12EJLCFirst Downs1612Rushes56-30225-129Passing2277Total Yards324206Comp-Att-Int1-4-03-12-1Fumbles - Lost2-12-0Penalties10-957-71