The Railers would have to do so without some key members of their
squad. The Railers were without senior wide receiver Wes White and
junior running backs Brent Metelko and Tim Jackson.
been an issue from the get-go for the Railers. Adam Conrady injured
his shoulder during practice before the season even started. With
that being said, you still have to play the game, and Coach Mac
would have to plug in kids with little or no varsity experience.
The Spartans got things going when B.J. Hill ran for a 24-yard
touchdown to give the Spartans a 6-0 lead. Drew Palmer converted the
extra point to make the score 7-0 with 7:42 to go in the first
Will Cook would fumble the ensuing kickoff to give the ball right
back to the Spartans deep into their territory. The Railer defense
tightened up and forced the Spartans to a three-and-out, which
forced them to punt. Lincoln still couldn't get their offense going,
and after running a few plays, Chris Doung fumbled the ball and
Southeast was able to recover it. Luckily the Spartans couldn't get
their offense on track either and were forced to punt again when
Lincoln held them to another three-and-out.
The Railers found a little success on their next possession. They
were able to move the ball on the ground, and Austin Krusz hooked up
with Cook for a 13-yard pass play that resulted in a first down
right before the first quarter ended.
As the Railers came out for the second quarter, their offense
stalled again and they were forced to punt. Southeast took over and
tried to throw a long pass downfield, but Cook was playing tight
defense on the receiver and was able to make the interception deep
into their own territory. After running three plays with no success,
the Railers were forced to punt again. The Spartans returned the
favor as they were unable to move the ball either and turned the
ball over on downs.
Finally on the Railers' next possession they were able to move
the ball downfield with a good run by sophomore Zach Podunajec and a
key pass from Krusz to Letterle to move the chains. With 5.1 seconds
on the time clock, Krusz threw a pass over the middle to Keaton
Letterle for a touchdown. Letterle was guarded closely by the
Southeast defender but was able to make a spectacular catch to pull
Lincoln within one point. Grant Cooper converted the extra point to
tie the game at halftime.
[to top of second column]
The Railers came out of halftime rolling. The play that got
things started was a halfback pass from Letterle to Cook for a nice
gain. That play was followed up by some hard running from a new name
on the field. No. 47 Griffin Pollock, a 180-pound junior, stepped in
to fill the vacated spots of Metelko and White. Pollock pounded the
ball up the middle to get all the way to the 3-yard line. Krusz
called his own number and ran a quarterback sneak up the middle from
the 3-yard line to put the Railers up 13-7. Cooper converted the
extra point, and just like that, the Railers had their first lead of
the game 14-7.
Unfortunately the lead was short-lived. Southeast received the
kickoff and had a big return to Lincoln's 34-yard line. The Spartans
drove the ball down to the 5-yard line, and Edwin Gales finished it
off with a 5-yard run to bring them within one point of the Railers.
The extra-point snap was mishandled, but Nick Rogers was able to
corral it and throw a pass to Fred Epting for a 2-point conversion,
giving Southeast the lead 15-14 with 4:51 to go in the third
Lincoln took the ball from there and put together a 17-play drive
that ate up the rest of the time in the third quarter and several
minutes in the fourth quarter. That drive came to a halt and
Southeast took over on downs.
Lincoln's defense seemed to be worn down, and with 3:43 to go in
the game, Southeast running back Rogers broke a couple of tackles
and scrambled for a 50-yard touchdown to seal a victory for the
The final score: the Southeast Spartans 21
and the Lincoln Railers 14.
Although the Railers lost the game, Coach Mac has to be pleased
with the play of the kids who stepped in. Sam Tiffany changed his
number and his position as he filled in at running back. Griffin
Pollock and Zac Podunajec saw a lot of time at running back as well.
Pollock was the leading rusher, with six carries for 38 yards.
Keaton Letterle was leading receiver, with five receptions for 56
yards. Krusz was 11 for 21 for 93 yards passing, with one rushing TD
and one passing TD.
The Railers are back at home next Friday against Chatham
Glenwood. Kickoff time is 7 p.m.
[By SCOTT KIRBY]