Tacoma’s oldest intracity football rivalry represented a clash of offensive philosophies Friday night at the Stadium Bowl.
Using a no-huddle spread that’s become a standard formation in college, Lincoln beat a Stadium team committed to the option-oriented wing-T. Once the Lincoln defense figured out how to stay true to their gap assignments, it was all Abes in a 56-13 victory.
“It was a hard week for our defense,” first-year coach Jon Kitna said, “because ever since they showed up for the first practice, all they’ve seen is the spread. Now all of the sudden they’re going against the wing-T. It took a while for the defensive line to get it.
“I was tough on them last week, because I don’t think they played all that well. But I’ve got big expectations for them because I think they’re the best part of our football team.”
With the help of the defensive line and a quick-strike touchdown combination of quarterback J’Maka Love and wide receiver Joshua Eckwood, the Abes improved to 2-0. Stadium fell to 1-1 in a disappointing home opener after the Tigers scored 34 points last week at Mount Tahoma. They were held to two inconsequential touchdowns in the second half Friday.
With 3 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter and Lincoln at midfield after taking over on downs, Abes junior running back Rayshaun Miller broke a tackle, changed direction in the open field then shifted into a racing gear for a score.
A pivotal touchdown turned the momentum around for good midway through the second quarter, when Lincoln defensive lineman Peau Seigafo picked off a Tre Scott pass and returned it for a 34-yard touchdown.
Lincoln increased its lead to 21-0 when Love connected with Eckwood on a 65-yard touchdown pass.
It was the first of three touchdowns for Eckwood, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior.
“We knew Joshua Eckwood would be a nightmare balance for them, and he was,” Kitna said. “He’s a legitimate Division 1 prospect, a great kid and a phenomenal talent.”firstname.lastname@example.org