Godby running back Khalid Thomas badly wanted a black hat, so he pushed his way through his padded-up teammates and made sure he didn’t leave empty handed.
It wasn’t about a fashion statement, but it was a statement: Godby emphatically defeated previously unbeaten Lincoln 40-28 Thursday night at Cox Stadium to win the city championship and earn bragging rights and a little apparel to remind everyone.
“Last week, I felt like we could have done a lot of things to win the game,” said Thomas about a tough loss to Wakulla for the district title.
“We had to come out today and just get this win to prove that what happened last week wasn’t really supposed to happen.”
Thomas, held out of the game early for disciplinary reasons, rushed for 103 of his 123 yards in the second half and scored a fourth-quarter touchdown as Godby (9-1) finally got its offense going again.
The big story for Lincoln (8-1) was five fumbles.
With the game tied 7-7 following a 1-yard touchdown run by the Trojans’ Travis Hearns and a 3-yard touchdown carry by the Cougars’ Kenny Young, Lincoln was ready to score again.
Instead, Lincoln’s second fumble of the game came on the 5-yard line and was returned 95 yards for a touchdown by Godby safety Deion Singleton.
“Every game, our defense has played well,” Cougars coach Ronnie Cottrell said.
“Even against Wakulla, they had big plays. They created takeaways and that scoop-and-score was huge. It didn’t surprise me, but it was certainly at the right time.”
Lincoln fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Godby quarterback J.T. Bradwell hit receiver Earl Calloway on a 16-yard scoring strike, good for a 19-7 lead.
“You can’t turn the ball over,” Trojans coach Yusuf Shakir said. “They blocked and tackled better, and we turned the ball over.”
Lincoln kicker Brian Crews kicked consecutive field goals of 40, 43 and 23 yards to keep his team close, while running back Ben Robinson carried 26 times for 131 yards and Myles Gaines caught seven passes for 111 yards.
But Bradwell, who did throw two interceptions, kept his offense composed, hooking up with Wade Phillip for a 17-yard scoring play, and Godby responded with touchdowns to keep Lincoln at bay.
“We just have to convert,” Shakir said. “They scored touchdown and we scored field goals. That’s the big difference. We just have to execute inside the 20.”
Trojans running back Cameron Lang and quarterback Cameron Joseph each scored on 1-yard runs in the fourth quarter.
However, Thomas’ touchdown for Godby answered the first score and Young (103 yards rushing) followed up a Lincoln fumble with a 73-yard touchdown scamper, which built a 40-22 lead.
“Kenny did a great job,” Cottrell said. “Khalid came in and made some great runs late in the game. We answered every score and that’s what it takes when you play a great team.”
Chatting with Quintin
Watch Rickards coach Quintin Lewis talk about his team, which ends its regular season tonight at Cox Stadium against rival Leon, at http://www.tallahassee.com/RickHighFb