Sixth-ranked Lincoln’s 30-14 win over Lakes at Harry E. Lang Stadium on Friday wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but the Abes aren’t exactly going for style points.
According to head coach Masaki Matsumoto, the Abes, who improved to 3-1 (2-0 in the PCL 3A), are focused on doing what it takes to get better in order to win in November — and December as well.
“I personally haven’t thought about 2-0 in league,” Matsumoto said. “Every game we try to take it one week at a time and try to get better at the things that we need to get better at. This week our emphasis wasn’t even really on X’s and O’s, it was just about leadership, being able to trust each other, stepping up as coaches, as leaders and as players. Our kids did a great job and our coaches did a great job, so I’m very happy about that.”
Lincoln couldn’t get anything going on its first offensive possession, but needed just one play on its second possession to get on the scoreboard. Senior running back Tristian Kwon scampered 72 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
It was the longest play from scrimmage for either team, and gave Lincoln the early momentum. Kwon went on to rush for 150 yards on 13 carries.
“He’s huge for us in three phases (of the game),” Matsumoto said. “Obviously, he’s a great running back, but he’s a good safety for us, very reliable, and special teams. He gets us great field position for scores. It’s very awesome. The great thing about him is he is tough, so you can always count on him.”
The Abes would grow their lead to 13-0 by the end of the first quarter thanks to a 21-yard touchdown pass from senior Jaylen Antoine to senior wide receiver Nick Goss on a 4th-and-14.
Lakes fought back in the second quarter. A 9-yard touchdown run by junior Khalil Lewis was the only scoring for either team in the quarter. Lewis finished the game with 140 yards rushing on 28 carries.
The Abes added a field goal in the third quarter to go up 16-7, but the Lancers wasted little time answering. A drive led mostly by Lewis was capped by a 38-yard touchdown pass from junior Liam Bladow to senior Kyreice Miller. That score cut Lincoln’s lead to 16-14, but the Lancers wouldn’t score again.
For as well as the Lancers played at times, two fumbles and an interception by Bladow hurt their efforts to beat the Abes, who beat Lakes 40-0 last season.
“(The Lancers) made some great adjustments to what we were doing,” Matsumoto said. “Our defensive coaches did a great job of making adjustments ourselves. The players responded, forcing key turnovers. Some things you can’t coach up, they’re great players.”
Lincoln sophomore quarterback Caden Filer scored on a 3-yard run and senior running back Austin Moeung scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.
NO. 6 LINCOLN
Li – Tristan Kwon 72 run (Gabe Foster kick)
Li – Nick Goss 21 TD (kick failed)
La – Khalil Lewis 9 run (Liam Bladow kick)
Li – Foster 20 FG
La – Kyreice Miller 38 pass from Liam Bladow (Bladow kick)
Li – Caden Filer 3 run (Foster kick)
Li – Austin Moeung 1 run (Foster kick)
RUSHING – Lincoln: Jaylen Antoine 7-(-13); Tristian Kwon 13-150; Austin Moeung 12-44; Caden Filer 2-4. Lakes: Khalil Lewis 28-140; Liam Bladow 4-6; Kyreice Miller 1-14; Dorien Simon 1-6.
PASSING – Lincoln: Jaylen Antoine 6-15-0-100; Caden Filer 6-12-1-66. Lakes: Liam Bladow 14-32-1-142.
RECEIVING – Lincoln: Nick Goss 2-24; Austin Moeung 1-25; Tristian Kwon 1-13; Julien Simon 2-24; Mykel Campbell 1-38; Kavon Holden 2-8; Jasiah Snow-Marshall 1-34. Lakes: Cody Roe 3-53; Khalil Lewis 3-10; Kyreice Miller 4-58; Na’Hoku Agor 2-17.