An 80-yard touchdown off a swing pass from Cedric Case to CJ Jones on Lincoln High’s first play from scrimmage was just a prelude of things to come.
That sent Case, the junior quarterback, on his way to 445 yards through the air on 20 of 25 completions and five TD passes to power the No. 7 Links to a 62-31 football win over Lincoln Pius X before a standing-room-only crowd of 1,800 at the Beechner Athletic Complex.
Case later showed off his deep ball touch. He connected with Morgan Perry for a 57-yard scoring strike later in the opening period, launched a 35-yard pass that hit Zion Perry in stride in the end zone for a 42-17 Links lead late in the first half and unloaded an 83-yard bomb, also to Zion Perry, for Lincoln High’s final TD with 5:47 left in the game.
“The offensive line did a great job up front, not giving up a sack and giving me time to throw,” Case said. “And our receivers are so quick and athletic, just get the ball in their hands and they’re going to make plays. They made play after play tonight.”
The Links (2-0) finished with 614 total yards. Jones, a junior wide receiver, finished with six catches for 154 yards and Zion Perry hauled in three for 121.
But it was three turnovers the Lincoln High defense produced that led to 21 points and helped break the game open. An interception by Elvinn Pawnell set up a 43-yard TD run by Isaiah Alford to make it 35-17 with 2:45 left in the half.
Darius Luff then smothered an errant Thunderbolt lateral at the Pius X 35 with under a minute left in the half, leading to Case’s 35-yard TD strike to Zion Perry. A Morgan Perry interception on Pius X’s second play of the second half gave the Links the ball at the Thunderbolt 22, and John Goodwin scored on a 2-yard run four plays later.
“We had some blown assignments defensively that resulted in some big plays, but we got some turnovers and did a better job of getting stops in the second half,” Lincoln High coach Mark Macke said. “We’re not that far away from being a good defensive team.”
Pius X (1-1) had some big plays of its own, especially in the first half when the Thunderbolts tried to answer every Link score. Thomas Robertson and Joe Dworak connected for a 28-yard TD pass in opening period to tie it at 7-7, then a 72-yard scoring pass from Austin Jablonski to Noah McCashland knotted it at 14 less than two minutes later.
Lincoln High’s second quarter outburst meant that Robertson’s 72-yard TD toss to Dworak with nine seconds left in the half only cut the deficit to 42-24 heading into intermission.
“Those turnovers gave them a short field and they (Lincoln High) converted every one of those. Then you’re working uphill,” said Pius X coach Ryan Kearney, whose team had 421 total yards. “Obviously they have great speed, and they’re extremely well-coached. They execute what they do very well.”
LINCOLN HIGH 62, LINCOLN PIUS X 31
|Lincoln Pius X||14||10||0||7||--||31|
LHS--Jones 80 pass from Case (Joseph kick)
LPX--Dworak 28 pass from Robertson (N. McCashland kick)
LHS--M. Perry 57 pass from Case (Joseph kick)
LPX--N. McCashland 72 pass from Jablonski (N. McCashland kick)
LHS--Goodwin 6 run (Joseph kick)
LPX--N. McCashland 33 FG
LHS--Z. Perry 9 run (Joseph kick)
LHS--Alford 43 run (Joseph kick)
LHS--Z. Perry 35 pass from Case (Joseph kick)
LPX--Dworak 72 pass from Robertson (N. McCashland kick)
LHS--Goodwin 2 run (Joseph kick)
LHS--Z. Perry 83 pass from Case (Joseph kick)
LHS--M. Perry 9 pass from Case (run failed)
LPX--Kudron 7 fumble return (N. McCashland kick)
RUSHING--Pius X, Cassidy 11-60, Blumenstock 4-25, Feltes 3-13, Robertson 8-21, Jablonski 7-9, Andreasen 5-17. Lincoln High, Goodwin 12-48, Lawrence 1-2, Case 1-(-5), Alford 3-51, Z. Perry 4-30, Jones 1-5, Miller 2-25, M. Perry 1-9.
PASSING--Pius X, Robertson 8-16-2, 181; Jablonski 6-11-0 104. Lincoln High, Case 20-25-0, 445.
RECEIVING--Pius X, Kreikemeier 1-10, Dworak 5-125, McCashland 2-78, Pynes 1-44, Spethman 1-4, Kudron 1-14, Feltes 2-4, Staab 1-7. Lincoln High, Jones 6-154, Z. Perry 3-121, M. Perry 4-86, Miller 6-92, Horton 1-12.