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Pats fall in OT – again

BARBOURVILLE — The Lincoln County High School football team dropped another heartbreaker Friday night, falling 34-33 in overtime to Knox Central, its third overtime loss this season.

Senior quarterback Nick Harris rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 114 yards and two scores to lead the Patriots and senior running back Dylan Burchfield ran in a 3-yard touchdown in the Class 4A, District 7 matchup. Senior Loren Melton booted an extra point kick and Harris scored on a two-point conversion run to give Lincoln 27 points in regulation. However, it wouldn’t be enough to outscore host Knox Central as the Panthers matched the Patriots’ scoring. Sophomore running back Seth Huff answered with 185 yards and four touchdowns and junior quarterback Brady Worley threw for 111 yards and a TD while freshman kicker Brady Wells added PATs.

The outcome of the game would come down to the point after tries in overtime.

With the score deadlocked at 27-all, Lincoln struck first in the OT with Harris scoring on 3rd-and-5. But Knox blocked the PAT kick by Melton to make it 33-27. Huff made short work of the Panthers’ OT drive, scoring from the 10 yard line on the first snap, then Brody Wells pushed through the PAT kick to edge Knox past Lincoln.

“It was another game where we had every opportunity to win and then we don’t do the things we need to do to win,” Lincoln coach Spencer Crutchfield said. “Again, the outcome was not what we wanted. We had the opportunity to win. We were a play or two away from winning the football game but we just didn’t make the plays when we needed to.”

The Patriots (3-6, 0-4 District 7) were driving in Panther territory on their final possession in regulation before the drive stalled on three Lincoln penalties. On 2nd-and-1, Harris broke on a long run to the Panther 30 only to have the run negated on a holding penalty. After two more penalties, Lincoln faced 4th-and-22 back on its side of the field and was forced to punt.

“We move the ball and get a first down and we get a penalty,” Crutchfield said. “We just continue to kind of shoot ourselves in the foot when it really counts. We’ve worked on that in practice, being disciplined, it just hasn’t translated yet.”

Lincoln opened the game scoring with 5:50 left in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown by Burchfield. The score, which came on the Patriots’ second possession, was set up by a 32-yard interception return by Clayton Davis. Melton, who had not missed a point after kick all season, missed the PAT.

The Panthers (2-7, 1-4) edged ahead of the Patriots 7-6 with 1:59 left in the first when Huff tallied his first score on a 13-yard run and Wells added the point after kick. The Panthers made it a 14-6 game late in the second quarter as Worley hit Wells for a 38-yard touchdown pass.

Lincoln would answer before the half to cut the deficit to 14-12. The Patriots took possession at their own 45 and, four plays later, Harris turned on the afterburners, racing 46 yards to the house with 43.7 seconds left in the first half. The two-point conversion run failed.

The Panther lead was back at eight points midway through the third quarter after a 68-yard, nine-play drive. Huff capped the drive with a 3-yard push up the middle. Lincoln blocked Wells’ kick for a 20-12 margin with 6:36 on the clock.

The game saw its first tie just over five minutes later as Lincoln answered with its own scoring drive. The Patriots took over at their own 34 and moved play along on first down runs by Harris (3) and a first-down pass to Levi Daugherty. The 13-play drive culminated in a 13-yard scoring pass from Harris to Davis. Harris’ two-point conversion run tied the game at 20-all with 1:08 to play in the third.

Lincoln and Knox would trade scores again in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots were on the move after recovering an onsides kick when Worley intercepted Harris and returned the ball to the Lincoln 48. Four plays later, with 9:50 on the clock, Huff scored with a 38-yard run down the Patriot sideline. Wells’ kick made it 27-20. The lead lasted just over three minutes, with Kade Bandura pulling in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Harris with 6:31 showing. Melton’s kick tied the game at 27-27.

Knox turned the following possession over on downs to set up Lincoln’s final drive in regulation. The Panthers got down to the Patriot 32 on their closing drive before time expired.

“The kids never quit fighting, we just didn’t make the plays when we needed to,” Crutchfield said.

With the loss, Lincoln dropped to No. 4 in the district. Knox Central took the No. 3 spot. Lincoln will face the No. 1 team, Wayne County, when playoffs begin on Nov. 8.

“I won’t back down on these guys and I won’t back down on a challenge. And I know they won’t back down because of the fight they have in them,” said Crutchfield. “I told these guys, ‘We have the opportunity to write our own story. We can come back and work hard and do the things that we need to do and get the playoff win.’”

Lincoln had 252 offensive yards, including 138 on the ground. Harris went 8-for-15 for 114 yards with Davis his leading receiving with four catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Knox had 315 total offensive yards, wth 204 yards rushing. Worley went 7-for-13 with Wells getting six catches for 102 yards and a score.

Defensively, Darren Griffin led the Patriots with 12 tackles, including seven solo tackles. Robert Bowman had nine tackles, with four solos.

at Knox Central

Lincoln 6 6 8 7 6 – 33
Knox Cent. 7 7 6 7 7 – 34

Scoring
1st Qtr
Lincoln: 5:50 – Dylan Burchfield 3-yard run (Kick failed).
Knox Central: 1:59 – Seth Huff 13-yard run (Brody Wells kick).

2nd Qtr
Knox Central: 2:40 – Brody Wells 38-yard pass from Brady Worley (Wells kick).
Lincoln: :43.7 – Nick Harris 46-yard run (Run failed).

3rd Qtr
Knox Central: 6:36 – Huff 3-yard run (Kick blocked).
Lincoln: 1:08 – Clayton Davis 13-yard pass from Nick Harris (Harris run).

4th Qtr
Knox Central: 9:50 – Huff 38-yard run (Wells kick).
Lincoln: 6:31 – Kade Bandura 20-yard pass from Harris (Loren Melton kick).

OT
Lincoln: Harris 5-yard run (Kick blocked).
Knox Central: Huff 10-yard run (Wells kick).

Game Stats
LC KC
Rushing 39-138 35-204
Passing 8-15-2 7-13-1
Yards 114 111
Total Off./Yds 54-252 48-315
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 1/1

Individual Stats
Rushing
Lincoln
Nick Harris: 22 carries, 116 yards, 2TDs.
Dylan Burchfield: 13 carries, 28 yards, TD.
Zack Hazlett: 2 carries, 4 yards.
Levi Daugherty: 2 carries, (-10) yards.

Knox Central
Seth Huff: 29 carries, 185 yards, 4TDs.
Brady Worley: 3 carries, 9 yards.
Trace Floyd: 2 carries, 7 yards.
Michael Bays: 1 carry, 3 yards.

Passing/Receiving
Lincoln
Nick Harris – 8-15-2, 114 yards, 2TDs.
Clayton Davis – 4-71 yards, TD; Kade Bandura – 1-20, TD; Levi Daugherty – 2-18; Zack Hazlett – 1-5.

Knox Central
Brady Worley – 7-13-1, 111 yards, TD.
Brody Wells – 6-102 yards, TD; Abram Brock – 1-9.