The county’s top defense didn’t look the part Friday afternoon: Lincoln scored a season’s worth of points against it, delivering a 49-0 defeat to San Diego High at Lincoln.
The Cavers (6-1-1, 2-1 in the City Central League) had allowed only 26 points in seven games and had registered four shutouts.
But there was a reason for that, and even the Cavers knew it.
“We haven’t played the toughest schedule,” San Diego Coach Art Anderson conceded.
“And it showed out here,” added Lincoln wide receiver Scott Hammond, one of the fastest sprinters in the state, who is better defended when he runs 100-meter dashes into head winds. “The coaches told us to just jump on them quick and they would lay down. They came out fired up and hitting hard, but like the coaches said, they just laid down after that.”
The explanation couldn’t have been more obvious: Lincoln (5-3, 2-0) played the game like a relay team and San Diego like a herd of golfers.
“We underestimated their speed,” Anderson said.
“Yeah,” Hammond said, “they thought they were a little faster than we were.”
Proof that San Diego was not came only three plays into the game when Lincoln quarterback Akili Smith faded back to throw on a third-and-11 from his 30.
He hit Kevin Brown on a crossing pattern at the 40, and although San Diego’s secondary was in position to stop Brown at that point, it simply could not match the receiver’s speed down the sideline.
That was the first of four touchdown passes in the half for Lincoln. Hammond caught the other three on plays of 28, 41, and 14 yards.
The last touchdown pass came off a halfback option with 44 seconds remaining in the half on a fourth-and-goal from the 14. Richard Wright took the pitch from Smith before lofting the ball into the right corner of the end zone, where Hammond ran underneath it.
Besides being faster, Lincoln also was luckier.
Michael Brown scored a first-half touchdown by blocking a San Diego punt, recovering it and running in for a 15-yard touchdown.
Later, after Hammond’s second touchdown, the ensuing kickoff took a quirky bounce and landed in the hands of Lincoln’s Jeff Fidler, who fell to the ground with the ball at San Diego’s 38. That set up Hammond’s final touchdown on the halfback option.
The victory gave Lincoln the inside track to the Central League title, a position that seemed out of the question when the Hornets lost their first two county games to USDHS (37-6) and Southwest (16-6).
“We’ve got it together now,” Hammond said. “It just took a little time to get in tune.”