Saturday, October 18, 2014
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Lincoln flashes, fizzles, fights in Jacksonville

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[October 18, 2014]  By Benjamin Yount

JACKSONVILLE -- It was after Cam Cook sprinted 78 yards on a kickoff return but before Garret Aeilts tossed his first touchdown pass that the Lincoln Railers looked like they could keep up with the Jacksonville Crimsons.

The Railers played their best football of the season Friday in Jacksonville, moving the ball through the air and finding a tough defense that twice stopped the Crimsons within sight of their own goal line.

"I think that’s the best that we’ve played against a very team that is a perennial power in our conference," Lincoln Head Coach Andy McDonald said. “(Ours is) an offense that is designed to compliment (the run and the pass). If we’re able to throw the ball a little bit, hopefully that will allow us to run a bit more."

The Railsplitters scored both of their first half touchdowns by the arm of Aeilts, the junior quarterback

"The lineman have been picking up their game, and giving me time to throw," Aeilts said. "As the season goes on (I have) gotten used to the reads."

But as much success as Lincoln had moving the ball Jacksonville had more.

The Crimsons used big plays, both big runs and long tosses, to score 35 points by halftime. Jacksonville would score more than 60 by the end of the game.

But Friday's game will not be remembered as a shoot out. It will be remembered as a knock down drag out.

A fight broke out on the field with a little more than nine minutes to go in the third quarter.

A squad of Jacksonville defenders pounced on senior Will Cook after he caught pass in front of the Crimson bench, several of them delivering their hits after the whistle.

Both teams started pushing and shoving, but the referees said Lincoln senior Cam Cook threw a punch.

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The refs threw Cam Cook out of the game.

From their, Friday night’s contest went downhill.

At one point a Jacksonville Police officer took up a post in the Lincoln bleachers to quite angry Railer fans.

“The last thing we talked about when we left the locker room (at halftime) was ‘You can’t let it get chippy’,” Jacksonville Head Coach Mark Grounds said. “Some frustration was coming out on Lincoln’s part and we couldn’t get our kids off the field quick enough.”

"This is a very passionate and hard fought game," Lincoln's McDonald said. "Sometimes tempers flare. Sometimes guys lose a little bit of their self control."

The Crimsons move to 4-4 on the season. Jacksonville needs a win next week to stay alive in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Crimsons will face the Chatham Glenwood Titans in Chatham next week.

With the loss, Lincoln falls to 0-8 on the year. The Railers’ only hope for a victory this season lies in next week's match up with the Lanpheir Lions.

The Railsplitters will host the team from Springfield's north end next Friday night at Handlin Field.

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