The Patriots gave up just 45 yards offense in the first half.
“It’s fun to see our defense make plays and get out like that,” Settles said. “That first drive had seven plays but then it was four straight 3-and-outs.”
Overall, Madison Southern (1-1) finished with 222 yards total offense.
Lincoln topped that number in the first half alone, picking up 241 of its total 359 yards offense in the first two periods.
On the first play of the second quarter, Brandon Graham scored to put Lincoln up 14-0.
The biggest offensive gain in the first half came on Lincoln’s next possession as Shannon ran 61 yards. The Lincoln back ran round the right end and high-stepped it along the sideline, cutting left along the way to avoid a tackler then jumping over another defender before he was pulled down at the 1-yard line. Graham took the ball the final yard to put Lincoln up 21-7.
“I was really just trying to score and make a big play for the team,” Shannon, who led all rushers with 166 yards on 28 carries, said. “I turned it on, and I thought I scored. I thought I got the ball in. But I didn’t get the touchdown.”
Graham, who finished with 41 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 carries, scored a total of three touchdowns in the game, tacking on a third off special teams. Madison Southern was on the move late in the second after an Adam Simpson interception before the drive stalled. Ethan Lake was just about to get off the punt when Graham exploded through the line to knock the ball down. Graham quickly scooped it up and ran it 14 yards for a 27-7 halftime score.
“I feel so good, so much pride because I do so much coaching on special teams,” Settles said. “To see it pay off is great.”
The only black mark on Lincoln’s offense came early in the second quarter when Madison Southern recovered a Lincoln fumble and took it in for a score. Southern’s Coty Russell got his hands on the ball after Hinds failed to grab a low snap and took it in from the 23.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t turn the ball over,” said Settles. “That didn’t hurt us tonight, but we can’t be giving up the football.”
Southern quarterback Chris Roberts, who was 5-for-23 for 87 yards, connected with Ethan Lake for a 13-yard pass and with Devon Johnson for a 10-yard gain to move the ball into Lincoln territory before Simpson capped off the eight-play, 69-yard drive when he went 11 yards to the end zone on a reverse to trim Lincoln’s lead to 27-14.
Kicker Carl-Lewis Cummins booted a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth to extend the Lincoln lead back out to 30-14. However, Johnson, who led Madison Southern with 110 yards on 12 carries, scooted 62 yards down the right sideline to get the Eagles within 30-20.
Shannon was in the driver’s seat on Lincoln’s final series, carrying the ball all the way from the Eagle 48 to the 4. He did score on the drive but the TD was nullified on a holding penalty.
“Tried to get it in there – twice – but they took it away from me,” said Shannon.
Lincoln did score on the drive with Cummins nailing his second field goal, a 28-yarder.
“Carl-Lewis is getting better every week and he’s a guy that can make a difference for us. It was a great effort by him tonight,” said Settles.
Note: Lincoln lost one of its key players early in Friday’s game, with starter Matt Carrier reinjuring his right shoulder on a 19-yard pass reception in the first quarter. Settles said that Carrier, who did not re-enter the game, was having his shoulder x-rayed to determine how badly he’s injured.
Lincoln: 6:23 – Austin Hinds 1-yard run (Carl-Lewis Cummins kick).