Friday night’s win was a long time coming for the Lincoln High Links.
After three straight seasons in the state football playoffs, it was going to be difficult for Lincoln High to replace a talented senior class and match its previous success. Entering the contest with an 0-6 start with an offense hadn’t scored more than 10 points in a contest, the Links finally put a full game together to win their first game of the year.
They dominated from start to finish, easily handling Omaha Benson 55-0 at Beechner Athletic Complex.
“It’s been a tough road and our kids have stuck together,” Lincoln High coach Mark Macke said. “I’m happy for them.”
The Bunnies (0-7) began the game with the ball but quickly turned it over with an interception. The Links (1-6) were quick to capitalize, as sophomore quarterback JaReese Lott-Buzby ran in a score from 21 yards out.
The Benson offense broke off multiple long passing plays of more than 30 yards in the first half but couldn’t get on the board. Following the interception, the Bunnies had five more first-half drives: turnover on downs, fumble, interception, turnover on downs and a final turnover on downs to end the half.
In the meantime, Lincoln High’s offense put together its finest performance of the season. Senior running back Tyrese Jones ran for 70 yards in the first half, finding the end zone on a 3-yard rush in the first quarter. Parker Vyhilda added an 18-yard rushing score in the second, and Lott-Buzby capped off the scoring on a 66-yard pass to senior wideout Jaxon Moody.
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The Links took a 28-0 lead into the intermission and picked up right where they left off after the break. Lott-Buzby tossed a 47-yard touchdown to Parker Raszick and the blowout continued.
Benson was stymied on offense in the second half as well, throwing two interceptions and turning the ball over on downs once more as it ended the night scoreless.
“Our emphasis this week was all about effort, and we did that on defense,” Macke said. “I was pleased with the effort.”
Vyhilda, Davis Buchanan and Jordon Moody all scored rushing touchdowns in the second half to close out the win. Lott-Buzby threw just two passes in the game, completing both for long touchdowns. He threw for 113 yards and added another 57 on the ground.
With two games left on the schedule, the Links will celebrate their first win, but it’s immediately back to business, according to their starting quarterback.
“It feels good, but we’re not satisfied,” Lott-Buzby said. “We’re still going to come out next week with same attitude we came out with this week.”