Monday, October 05, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Illinois completes futile effort

Railers fall to Lanphier 28-14

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[October 05, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- If the Railer football team learned something Saturday night in its Central State 8 contest against Lanphier, perhaps the lesson was that doing things by halves isn't enough.


Lincoln's Reuben Bowlby (42) runs his route, tracks the ball and lays out for a first-down reception against Lanphier defensive back Zachary Zarley (7) in fourth- quarter action of their Central State 8 Conference game Saturday night in Springfield. The Railers fell to 0-6 on the season and 0-5 in the CS8 as Lanphier won 28-14. (Click on pictures for larger images.)

RestaurantIn the second half of the game, Lincoln outscored Lanphier 14-7. The Railers put the ball in the end zone twice in the second half -- only the second time this season the team has tallied two touchdowns in a single half. And, for the most part, Lincoln's offense moved the ball effectively.

Unfortunately for Lincoln, in order for there to be a second half, there has to be a first half. Lanphier ran up a 21-0 lead just before halftime and escaped with a 28-14 win.

In addition, while the Railer offense moved the ball, its counterpart -- the defense -- didn't perform nearly as effectively.

"This is probably the worst we've played on defense as far as just tackling and getting to the football," said Lincoln head coach Jared Shaner after the game. "Obviously they have some athletic kids on offense, but that's not an excuse; we had a lot of guys that weren't blocked but just missed tackles."

Facing a 14-0 deficit with 5:30 left in the second quarter, Lincoln appeared to lose possession following an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-16 situation in Lanphier territory. But the Lions were assessed a penalty for roughing the passer, which kept the Railer drive alive.

Any momentum that play gave the Railers was short-lived, however. Lincoln moved the ball farther into Lanphier territory but lost the ball on downs with 2:30 left in the half. The Railer defense stopped the Lions on their ensuing possession, pushing Lanphier back to its own 1-yard line. But on third-and-13, Lanphier's Everett Clemons broke off a 69-yard run to move the Lions to the Lincoln 30-yard line with under a minute to go.

Lanphier quarterback Tommy Moore found Jebori Coleman on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 4.7 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Lions a 21-0 halftime advantage.

Clemons finished with 105 yards on five carries and one touchdown for Lanphier. Malcolm King carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards, including touchdown runs of 3 and 26 yards.

Altogether Lanphier gained 241 yards on 34 rushing attempts against Lincoln -- something Shaner was clearly unhappy about.

"It's like I told the kids: If you're unblocked, you don't have any excuses; you've got to make a tackle," Shaner said. "It's frustrating, because earlier in the year I thought our defense was playing pretty well."

With 2:17 left in the third quarter, Railer quarterback Stephen Duncan hit Darvez Stancle with a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Railers on the scoreboard. The catch marked Stancle's second straight game with a touchdown reception.

Nick Haferkamp scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 6:22 left in the game. James Leisinger -- filling in after Duncan left the game in the second half -- hit Reuben Bowlby for a 2-point conversion to cap the scoring.

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Shaner said Duncan left the game after taking a hard hit. Although the coach hadn't spoken to the athletic trainer at the time, he didn't think the injury was serious. With Leisinger at the helm, however, the Railer offense didn't appear to miss a beat.

"That's tough about being a backup at any position, but especially quarterback," Shaner said. "You stand on the sideline all night long, and lots of games you don't ever get in. And then, on one play and you're asked to go in and run the offense. I thought he did a good job."

Leisinger completed three passes on six attempts for 51 yards. Duncan finished the game 7 for 11 with 72 yards and a touchdown pass.

Haferkamp carried the ball 13 times for 67 yards and a touchdown. Colt Hickey ran for 56 yards on 20 carries, and Bowlby rushed the ball eight times for 27 yards.

"I need to watch the film, but I thought our offensive line got off the ball better in the second half," Shaner said. "We came out and competed a little better in the second half."

But even though there were a few bright spots on offense for the Railers, it was clearly the inability of the Railer defense to stop Lanphier that troubled Shaner.


"We got them backed up down in the end zone right before halftime, and again we had guys in the right position -- we just didn't make a tackle," Shaner said.

"And that's frustrating."

Lanphier moved to 2-4 overall and 2-3 in the CS8 with the victory. Lincoln dropped to 0-6 and 0-5, respectively.

Lincoln travels to Jacksonville for a CS8 contest Friday evening. Jacksonville owns a 3-3 overall record, including a 2-3 mark in the conference.


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