But during the second quarter, it appeared as if one team was
dominant. One team capitalized on the other team's mistakes and one
team closed drives with touchdowns.
The Railers were on the wrong end in the second quarter, when the
Titans scored 20 unanswered points en route to a 32-6 victory.
The loss left Lincoln's record at 2-4 this season, meaning the
Railers will have to go unbeaten for the remainder of the season if
they hope to make the playoffs.
Lincoln coach Jared Shaner, while applauding a resilient second-half performance by his team, recalled the helplessness he felt in
the second quarter as the game slipped away.
"It was very
frustrating," said Shaner, summarizing the second quarter. "That was
one of the only quarters (this season) where I'd say where you just
felt like the wheels were coming off."
Lincoln entered the quarter
trailing 7-0, with the ball. But, after a quarter that included an
interception, special teams miscues and a porous run defense, the
Railers trailed 26-0 at halftime.
Of particular frustration to Shaner was the last four minutes of
the first half. Trailing 20-0 with possession of the ball, Lincoln
aimed to get on the board with a touchdown, and with a strong first
possession of the second half, get back to within one touchdown.
Instead, the Railers turned the ball over on downs and
surrendered another touchdown to the Titans.
"You play a team like Chatham or Griffin," said Shaner,
20-0, four minutes to go in the second half. As a coach, you're
thinking, 'Put a drive together. I want to score.'
behind wanting to score is wanting it to be 20-0 at half still. We
want to use four minutes of the clock and not let them score. They
intelligently took some timeouts with about a minute left, got the
ball back and we let them go down and score. That took the wind out
of our sails."
Aside from the troubled second quarter, the other
difference in the game was the Titan running game.
Chatham's duo of running backs, Devin VonNordheim-Moore and Tony
Giovannelli, tore up the Railer defense behind a powerful offensive
line. VonNordheim-Moore finished with 20 times for 174 yards and
scored three touchdowns. Giovannelli had eight carries for 129 yards
with two trips to the end zone.
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The duo also accounted for all three of the Titans' second-quarter scores.
Shaner said Chatham's sheer strength was tough for the Railers to
"If you lined up our kids and their kids, that's a whole lot of
time in the weight room for their kids," said Shaner. "Their line is
good. Nobody huge, but good-size kids that are strong. Both of the
running backs are big, physical kids.
"You always feel like you can do more. But they just came up and
kicked our rear ends."
In the second half, the Railers played
respectably, holding Chatham to just six points and breaking the
shutout with a two-yard touchdown pass from James Leisinger to
But by then, it was largely too late. But the effort didn't go
"I told the kids at halftime, they had two choices:
roll over and get beat 50 to nothing, or, try to fight a little
bit," said Shaner. "I think we did that in the second half. I'm
proud of them for that."
Leisinger finished 7 of 19 for 91 yards,
throwing one touchdown and three interceptions. Leisinger had 14
attempts for 69 yards on the ground.
Stancle had five catches for 77 yards and one touchdown.
Among the Lincoln running backs, Jordan Sandrolini led the way
with 10 carries for 51 yards.
As a team, the Railers ran the ball 41 times for 145 yards.
Lincoln returns home to Handlin Field next week, taking on the
Springfield High Senators.
[By JUSTIN TIERNEY]