Saturday, October 09, 2010
Sports News

Railers thumped by Springfield 48-8

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[October 09, 2010]  It was neither his team's first loss nor their worst loss this season.

But for Lincoln football coach Jared Shaner, Friday night's 48-8 loss to Springfield High seemed to be the most disappointing defeat of the season.

Allowing 42 unanswered points after taking an 8-6 first-quarter lead had a lot to do with Shaner's disappointment.

But so did a myriad of small mistakes.

"Any time you come out, you jump offsides, you drop passes -- little things like that, those are mental errors," said Shaner. "To me, that means you weren't mentally prepared to play the game. To me, we weren't focused enough to come out here.

"And we haven't had a lot of those problems throughout the year. But tonight, it sure felt like it."

The Railers got off on the wrong foot when they allowed the Senators to strike quickly in the first quarter. Springfield got on the board just 1:38 into the contest, taking a 6-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, a string of odd plays actually wound up yielding points for the Railers.


After Lincoln had marched down into the Senator red zone, quarterback James Leisinger threw an interception that the Springfield defender hauled in at the 1-yard line.

A few plays later, the Railer defense registered their first safety of the season to get two points on the board.

On the ensuing free kick, Lincoln receiver Darvez Stancle returned the ball 41 yards into Springfield territory. On the next play, Railer fullback Brendan Fitzsimmons bulldozed his way into the end zone on a 22-yard run.

Lincoln was ahead 8-6, with all the momentum in the world.

But the Railers failed to capitalize.

Instead, the Senators would rattle off 25 unanswered points before halftime.

In one instance, Shaner attempted to recapture the momentum by calling a fake punt on a fourth-and-10 from the Lincoln 12-yard line, with the Railers trailing 17-8 in the second quarter. Although the play had worked earlier in the first quarter, on the second attempt, Leisinger's pass to Stancle fell incomplete and the Senators would score two plays later.

"It all depends on how the corner lines up on Darvez," said Shaner. "Darvez had inside leverage on the guy... When we see that, we take risks there.

[to top of second column]

"But the second one, we shouldn't have called. It was a poor decision. I was upset, because when we punted before, we had a net (field position difference) of 19 yards. I was upset about that. If I had that one to do over, I would take that back and punt it."

Another issue for the Railers was field position. Throughout the game, Senator kicker Mike Severino boomed kickoffs to inside Lincoln's 10-yard line or deeper.

If the Railer offense didn't gain ground, oftentimes the Senators got the ball back with only half a football field to go.

"The kid kicked it to the goal line darn near every kick," said Shaner. "And we got no good returns. We were lucky to get to the 20-yard line.

"That was a mental roadblock for us. We needed to go out and get two first downs and get ourselves close to midfield so we could feel good about what we were doing. But we couldn't do that. Their defense was very aggressive. Field position was a huge factor tonight."

Leisinger went 4 for 12 on the evening for 93 yards and two interceptions.

Stancle finished with two receptions for 74 yards.

Fitzsimmons finished with eight rushing attempts for 43 yards. All told, Railer runners had 43 attempts for 211 yards.

Lincoln travels to Taylorville next week, in their second-to-last game of the season.


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