LACEY — Breezing through the early part of its football schedule, Lincoln High School had little difficulty posting a 3-0 record.
But the question remained: Just how good are the Abes? It was tough to get an adequate read after a trio of blowouts against lesser competition.
Undefeated North Thurston would be the true measuring stick.
Rayshaun Miller ran for two long touchdowns and caught a scoring pass, Marcus Johnson chipped in a pair of TD runs, and Lincoln rode a wave of big plays to hammer the Rams, 53-7, in a Narrows League 3A battle Friday at South Sound Stadium.
“We did what we came here to do,” Lincoln coach Jon Kitna said. “We said before the game that, win or lose, this game would not define our season. We just wanted to come out here and play football the way we are capable of. We did that tonight against a good North Thurston team.”
Lincoln improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play, while North Thurston dropped to 3-1 and 1-1.
“That’s a lot of speed over there,” North Thurston coach Rocky Patchin said. “They have a ton of speed, and we just got worn down.”
Sophomore Jordan Kitna –son of the former Seattle Seahawks quarterback – was 9-for-21 passing for 192 yards and three touchdowns, leading an Abes offense that scored on four one-play drives and had five scoring plays of 56 or more yards.
Miller, who finished with 190 yards on just eight carries, followed up a 56-yard TD reception on Lincoln’s first offensive play with a 57-yard touchdown run to give the Abes their first lead, 12-7, midway through the second quarter.
The senior running back later scored on a 60-yard run that put the Abes ahead 39-7.
Miller’s speed was on display throughout the game, but Lincoln showed it had plenty of other burners on the roster as Marcus Johnson added an 81-yard scoring scamper, and Dehonta Hayes took a simple wide receiver screen pass and turned it into an 80-yard TD reception.
“Speed has never been an issue at Lincoln,” Jon Kitna said. “The difference this year is we have the linemen who have put in the work. Their play really opens things up for our skilled players. We’ve never had that here.”
Lincoln had outscored its previous three opponents by a combined score of 151-7, posting back-to-back shutouts and putting up 60-point efforts during its previous two games.
North Thurston, however, marched right down the field with considerable ease on its opening possession, riding the arm of Ryan Mets, who capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Malachai Hicks to give the Rams a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
A barrage of Lincoln big-play haymakers followed, helping the Abes to a comfortable 26-7 lead at halftime.
Pinned deep in their own territory, North Thurston attempted to run the clock out and head into the intermission with an 11-point deficit.
But a blocked punt gave the Abes the ball on the Rams’ 22 with 3 seconds left in the second quarter, and that was all Jordan Kitna needed as he hit Alvin Johnson on a 22-yard scoring strike as the first-half horn sounded. The ensuing two-point conversion gave Lincoln a 19-point cushion.
North Thurston had won the previous six games against the Abes, last losing to Lincoln, 14-7, during the Rams’ Narrows League 4A championship season of 1992.
Mike Sellers, the star on North Thurston’s title squad 21 years ago and a Pro Bowl fullback for Washington Redskins in 2008, was in attendance during the Rams homecoming ceremony, participating in the pregame coin toss.
Sellers introduction proved to be one of the few times the home crowd cheered as Lincoln dominated the contest from the second quarter on.
Since its formation in 2010, the Narrows League 3A has been dominated by schools from Thurston County as programs from the area have finished either first or second in each of the past three years.
Two league games into the schedule, Lincoln finds itself tied atop the standings with fellow Pierce County school Wilson, a 28-26 winner over defending league champion Timberline on Thursday.