Rowe got the scoring started on the opening possession, capping off a 60-yard Rocket drive with a 6-yard touchdown. Dustin Bishop, Rockcastle's quarterback, booted through his first of six extra-point kicks to put the Rockets up 7-0 just 2:30 in.
Lincoln (1-2) failed to convert on its first possession with Rocket Matt Bullens intercepting Patriot quarterback Austin Hinds to kill the drive. Six plays later, Rowe was back in the endzone, making it 14-0 with a 5-yard run up the middle.
It took just a minute for the Rockets to get back across the goal line. Lincoln got in just one play, a carry for minus-8 yards, before fumbling the ball back to Rockcastle. The Rockets took over on the Patriot 34 and, after one incomplete pass, Saylor was on the run, shaking off Lincoln tacklers as he made his way to the goal line for a 21-0 margin with 4:17 left in the first.
Lincoln never threatened in the first half. The Patriots did break into Rocket territory three times in the first half but the drives either stalled on downs or ended in an interception.
One of those moves into Rocket territory came early in the second quarter when Lincoln's Deon Shannon recovered a Jamie Todd fumble at the 45. Unfortunately, the Lincoln drive was short-lived with Todd redeeming himself two plays in with an interception. Three plays later, Rowe found a crease in the Lincoln defense and was gone, scooting 60 yards to give Rockcastle a 28-0 lead at the half.
Todd inflicted further damage early in the the third quarter. Bishop, who was 3-for-7 for 104 yards, connected with Todd for a 60-yard TD reception as Rockcastle built a 35-0 lead less than three minutes into the period.
Lincoln finally interrupted the string of Rocket scores on the following possession, going 54 yards in five plays. The drive was helped along by a 49-yard pass play from Hinds to Jordan Coffman. Coffman, who was Lincoln's offensive MVP for the game, got all the way to the Rocket 1 before he was pulled down. Matt Carrier capped off the drive with a 1-yard plunge.
Lincoln's freshman kicker Carl-Lewis Cummins successfully pulled off an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff, grabbing the ball at the Rocket 47. The onsides kick recovery was not the first for Cummins and Settles said it probably won't be his last.
"Carl is a great freshman for us. He's worked hard to be our kicker and he's starting to enjoy the game," said Settles. "He's showed that he's capable of and not afraid of making plays to get the ball back. I'd like to give him more opportunities to kick field goals, too, when we get in that position."
"He's going to be a special player by the time he's a senior and I know a lot of colleges will be looking at him," he said.
Lincoln would not convert on the Cummins' recovery, with the Patriots forced to punt. However, after pushing Rockcastle back to its own 2, Lincoln would tack on another score. Julian Calhoun delivered six points when he returned Bishop's punt 35 yards to the goal line.
"I loved that touchdown," Settles said. "I loved the block that Brandon Graham made on the touchdown. It was a great run by Julian and great blocks by Brandon and several players."
The Calhoun punt return got Lincoln within 35-14, but the Patriots would get no closer with Saylor pushing across one last score for the Rockets, a 16-yard run, with 7:28 to play for the 42-14 final.
"I'm disappointed with the way we started, but I was proud of the effort they gave in the second half," said Settles. "We played well at times but we still need to play well consistently. We need to be making plays on every play for all four quarters."
Lincoln's offense did manage to finish on the plus side overall, with Hinds going 8-for-24 for 124 yards. The Patriots fumbled the ball four times, losing one possession, and Hinds was intercepted three times.
Clayton Cooper, a senior lineman, was named as Lincoln's defensive MVP for the game. The awards for Rockcastle's defensive and offensive MVPs went to Saylor and Rowe, respectively.