Capital High School’s defense came out hitting, forcing a punt and two turnovers on Lincoln’s first three possessions in a 3A Narrows League opener Friday night at Ingersoll Stadium.
But over the full 48 minutes, it was the Abes overcoming the Cougars and an abundance of penalties to record a 32-10 victory.
“For us, it’s a matter of time,” said Abes’ coach Jon Kitna. “They limited us early, but we played with patience, kept going downfield.”
Capital (1-2, 0-1 3A Narrows) tackled Lincoln quarterback Jordan Kitna eight times behind the line of scrimmage, but in the end he completed 19 of his 25 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns, all to surprise starting receiver Tony Archie.
“That’s what our program’s going to be about,” said the older Kitna. “Tony wasn’t supposed to start, but we had some disciplinary things going on this week. He came to us as a quarterback but has made himself into a quality receiver.”
Archie totaled seven catches for 116 yards, and Jayson Williams had another nice night with nine catches for 111 yards.
But it was Capital in control early. After one of those damaging penalties called back an apparent 78-yard touchdown run by Dionte Simon, Capital forced Lincoln (3-0, 1-0 3A Narrows) to punt. Then, after turning the ball over on downs deep in Abes territory, Capital got its first takeaway on an interception by Ryan Rieta and turned it into a 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal by Van Soderberg.
When the third play of Lincoln’s ensuing possession ending with a Simon fumble, it looked like it might be the Cougars’ night.
“Capital is well-coached and they grew up playing together,” Jon Kitna said. “We knew this would be a tough way to open the league season.”
But Capital’s opportunity vanished when they turned the ball over on downs, again in Lincoln’s half of the field.
The Abes turned the game around from there, with quarterback Kitna engineering a quick, two-play, 74-yard drive on a 16-yard screen pass to Simon that set up a 42-yard bomb to a wide-open Archie behind the Capital defense for an 8-3 lead, after the first of four two-point conversion passes succeeded.
Lincoln never trailed again.
Capital pared the margin to 16-10 with 7:35 left in the third quarter, when quarterback Cody Jenkins capped a 10-play, 59-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak.
That kept the game in doubt until Lincoln scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the first on a 14-yard Kitna-to-Archie pass that the 6-foot Archie reached high to pull down in the back of the end zone and the second on a 1-yard screen pass to Archie with 4:21 remaining.