Saturday, September 12, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Illinois completes futile effort

Railers go down 14-0 to Taylorville

Railer linebackers Zack Toft (22) and Reuben Bowlby (42) close in on Taylorville running back Blaine Lacy (2) as Tedarion Carter (76) looks on. Lincoln fell to 0-3 on the season with the 14-0 loss to the Tornadoes.

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[September 12, 2009]  Legend has it that, when asked once after a game about the execution of his offense, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers football coach John McKay responded, "I'm in favor of it."

HardwareWhile such drastic measures may not have crossed the mind of Railer head football coach Jared Shaner following Lincoln's 14-0 loss Friday night to the Taylorville Tornadoes, the exasperation in the tone of his voice after watching his team's problems maintaining possession of the football was obvious.

"It's very frustrating to move the ball downfield like we did and then shoot ourselves in the foot," Shaner said. "We need to be more disciplined; we need to put drives together."

Taylorville opened the scoring with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter when sophomore running back Tanner May scampered 60 yards for a touchdown. The Tornadoes added a 2-point conversion on a pass from Beau McDonald to Dustin Ehrhardt for an early 8-0 lead.

Lincoln took the ensuing kickoff and moved the ball into Taylorville territory before turning the ball over on the Tornadoes' 40-yard line.

One play later, the Tornadoes gave the ball back on an interception. Although the Railers successfully moved the ball, Lincoln never was able to punch it into the end zone and get on the scoreboard.

"I felt we controlled the first half," Shaner said. "We moved the ball; we just kept turning it over."

Unfortunately for the Railers, who dropped to 0-3 with the loss, the second half was more of the same. After Lincoln fumbled the ball away on its own 45-yard line seven minutes into the third quarter, Taylorville moved downfield and scored again after McDonald hooked up with Ehrhardt for an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Tornadoes what turned out to be their final 14-0 margin of victory.

However, the Railers never gave up and continued to play hard for the remainder of the game. To open the fourth quarter, Nick Haferkamp picked up critical yardage in a 4th-and-2 situation for Lincoln to maintain possession of the ball. And while Railer running backs Colt Hickey and Brendan Fitzsimmons continued to pick up yardage carrying the ball, that drive eventually ended with 7:08 remaining in the game on an incomplete pass on 4th-and-10.

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To their credit, the Railer defense held and eventually Lincoln got the ball back. With time winding down, Lincoln's evening was epitomized in two plays on its final drive: With about two minutes to go, the Railers converted a crucial pass play on fourth down to pick up a first down, then fumbled the ball away on the next play from scrimmage.

Taylorville, which moved to 3-0 with the victory, ran the clock out to escape with the win.

Lincoln managed 167 yards rushing against Taylorville and did so without senior letter-winner Jase Camp, who was injured in the previous week's contest against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.

According to Shaner, Camp suffered two broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung on a kickoff return against SH-G. He will be medically evaluated again but may be done for the season.

Shaner said the Railers will get back to basics in practice this week as Lincoln prepares for next Friday's 7 p.m. contest at Springfield Southeast,
"If you only give up 14 points, you can't be real disappointed," he said. "We do handoff drills every day, but now we're going to take it back to square one."


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