Prep football: Lincoln drops season opener

Prep football: Lincoln drops season opener

Video

Prep football: Lincoln drops season opener

By

The frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter, when a close game had gotten out of reach.

Friday night in its 2013 season opener, Manitowoc Lincoln’s football team started the season with a strong first half against defending Fox River Classic Conference champion Green Bay Southwest. The second half was a different story.

Trojans mistakes weren’t being taken advantage of as they were in the first half, and dynamic Southwest quarterback Chad Leaman proved to be much too much.

Lincoln was handed a 40-14 loss at Municipal Field. But the score was tied at halftime, 14-14.

“We just couldn’t play with any consistency,” Lincoln coach John Dixon said.

Dixon said he told the team that mistakes are expected in a season-opening game. It’s whichever team limits its mistakes and takes advantage of the other team’s errors that comes out ahead.

“Sounds pretty prophetic,” he said after the game, “though I thought it would be the other team with (more mistakes).”

Southwest committed four fumbles, two in each half. Ballhawk senior Trevor Terp recovered three of them.

Manitowoc scored directly off the first miscue when senior Drew Dixon bulldozed from 1-yard out. The Ships led 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

After a Southwest score, Ethan Just gave Manty the lead once again. The senior back ran over one defender and past the rest of them for a 46-yard scoring scamper.

The Trojans added one more TD in the first half, but Manty had to feel good about a tie game going into halftime.

But things changed in the second half. Manitowoc’s offense did not register a single first down, and Leaman took over the game.

“Our defense played solid. They put us in good spots,” said Just. “We didn’t have those opportunities in the second half.”

Leaman threw for 117 yards, ran for 110 more and had five touchdowns combined. The back-breaker was a 24-yard scamper, zig-zagging through the Ships’ defense on a fourth-and-10 late in the fourth quarter.

“Some of the plays he made with his feet were unbelievable,” said Southwest co-coach Tim Birr.

Statistically, the final numbers weighed heavily in the Trojans’ favor. They outgained the Ships by more than 2-to-1 (395-178).

Just led Lincoln with 82 yards rushing, Dixon had 57 more and Cameron Jaeger had 25 on four carries. The passing game accounted for only 26 yards with an interception.

Just said he and Jaeger each got dinged up in the team scrimmage last week, limiting their practice time. Because of it, the offense never got in sync.

“We were a little off,” he said.

While the Ships showed frustration in the closing moments, Just said the errors are “fixable.” Dixon told his team that squads make the biggest improvement between weeks 1 and 2.

After playing the defending champs even through one half, the consensus was that there are improvements to be made, but they are improvements that can be made.

“It seems like we were just one person short all the time,” said Dixon. “It was frustrating for us, frustrating for the kids.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports