• 30°

Patriots bow to Wayne Co. Cardinals in first round of Class 4A football playoffs

MONTICELLO — The Lincoln County High School football team’s season came to an end Friday night, as the Patriots fell 56-33 at Wayne County in the first round of the Class 4A state football playoffs.

Wayne entered the first round as District 7’s top seed while Lincoln came in as the district’s fourth seed. The Cardinals defeated the Patriots 55-21 on their home field on Oct. 11.

Just as he did in the first meeting between the two schools, Wayne’s junior running back Braedon Sloan dominated in the win. While Sloan didn’t get 364 yards and six scores Friday like he did on Oct. 11, he got his yards and his points, rushing for 223 yards and five touchdowns on 24 carries. He added a sixth score on defense.

Wayne (9-1) racked up 506 yards total offense in the win, with junior quarterback Brody Weaver completing 18 of 23 pass attempts for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

Lincoln (3-8) finished with 394 yards total offense. The Patriots rushed for 209 yards on 33 carries led by senior quarterback Nick Harris with 109 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He also went 8-for-17 passing for 185 yards and two scores. He had three interceptions.

“I’m proud of these guys. They put themselves in a position to be competitive and try to win the football game,” Lincoln coach Spencer Crutchfield said. “They (Cardinals) are a good football team. They’re a physical football team and they have a kid who can go. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They executed their game plan just like we tried to execute ours. They just made a few more plays than we did.”

Wayne never trailed in the ballgame, pushing in the game’s first score just a little over two minutes into the action. The Cardinals took the opening possession at their own 33 and, on the fifth play of the drive, Sloan cut to the left side of the field and scooted 45 yards untouched to the end zone. The Patrick Radilla kick made it 7-0 with 9:53 still to go in the first quarter.

After forcing a 3-and-out by Lincoln, Wayne’s offense was back on the move. The Cardinals took over at their own 30 and needed 11 plays to add to their lead. Weaver connected with Tito Ruiz, Sloan and Thomas Spencer for first-down passes to advance the ball to the Lincoln 12, then Sloan ran it on in to push the Wayne lead to 14-0 with 4:15 on the clock.

It took just 28 seconds for Lincoln to answer the Wayne score. The Patriots fielded the ensuing kickoff at their own 31. Harris broke through the Cardinal defense for two first-down runs (25, 14 yards) to move the ball to the Wayne 30. Penalties on the Cardinals would keep the ball moving forward. They were whistled for a 15-yard personal foul after Harris’ second carry then drew another flag for being offsides to place the ball at the 10. Harris took the ball on in for the score and Loren Melton added the point after kick to make it 14-7 with 3:47 left in the period.

Sloan kicked off the second-quarter scoring on the second play of the period, His 13-yard run capped off a 56-yard, 11-play drive. Dylan Godsey ran in the two-point conversion run for a 22-7 margin with 11:24 showing.

Both offenses stumbled over the next three possessions. Lincoln went 3-and-out on its first possession of the second quarter. Wayne then drove inside the Lincoln 20 only to see the drive end in a failed 35-yard field goal attempt. The Patriots got nowhere on their next possession, with Ruiz picking off Harris.

The Ruiz interception set up the Cardinals’ next score. Wayne took over at the Lincoln 27 and, on the fourth play of the drive, Sloan scored his fourth touchdown, a 3-yard run, to extend Wayne’s lead to 28-7 with 4:13 left in the first half.

Lincoln would make it a two-possession game before the intermission with a late score by Clayton Davis. Davis, who was on the receiving end of four Nick Harris passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, was thrust into the role of quarterback late in the half after Harris, who had just thrown a first-down pass to Zack Hazlett, was addled by a hard hit. The personal foul penalty moved the ball to the Wayne 18. Davis carried the ball four yards on his first snap as QB then scored on a 14-yard keeper to make it 28-13 at the half.

“He came right in and didn’t miss a beat,” Crutchfield said of Davis. “We went down and scored with less than a minute and that’s promising. That’s the kind of character these kids have – the next man up.”

Lincoln would score in every quarter, but so would Wayne. The Cardinals continued to cushion their lead behind three third-quarter touchdowns and one in the final period. The Patriots picked up two more scores in the third and one in the fourth.

Ruiz, who led the Wayne receivers with eight catches for 111 yards, took one pass to the house. He capped Wayne’s first drive of the second half with a 29-yard touchdown pass at the 8:27 mark. Then, just over two minutes later, Weaver hit Godsey for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-13 with 6:14 left in the third.

The third quarter ended in a flurry of scoring. With 4:34 showing, Davis scored for Lincoln on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Harris only to have Sloan answer with a 41-yard scoring run at the 3:39 mark. The Patriots capped the quarter scoring with 1:34 to go off a 51-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Harris to make it 49-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

Sloan ran in his final touchdown of the game on defense, intercepting Lincoln’s Harris and returning the ball 80 yards for a touchdown and a 55-27 Wayne lead with 6:37 left.

Lincoln closed the night’s scoring with 2:48 left in the game with Davis scoring on a 6-yard run for the 56-33 final.

“We hung in there and battled. When things didn’t go our way, we kept fighting,” said Crutchfield. “Last week, I was kind of disappointed in their effort, but that’s what I’m more proud of than anything is how they responded and the way they came back. It’s 20 degrees out here. I’m cold. I know they’re cold. They could’ve laid down but they didn’t. That just goes to show what kind of character they have.”

“Unfortunately, just because you do things the right way and you do things a certain way doesn’t always mean you get the result you want. That’s life lessons. I’m just proud of these guys for continuing to fight.”

Friday night’s game was the final high school game for 16 Patriot seniors – Kade Bandura, Justin Bryant, Dylan Burchfield, Levi Daugherty, Corey Denson, Darren Griffin, Nick Harris, Zack Hazlett, Sean Maddox, Loren Melton, Bryan Mullins, Jacob Napier, Rafe Shelton, Kristian Silverthorn, Mykah Turpin and Tyler Williams.

“I hate if for all the guys, but I hate it most for the seniors,” said Crutchfield. “Whenever you play your last game, it’s always tough. I hate if for them that they had to go out like this, but I’m super proud of who they are and the men they’ve become.”

Defensively, Robert Bowman led Lincoln with 15 tackles, including 10 solo tackles. Davis had nine tackles, with eight solos. Rafe Shelton had six solo tackles.

Class 4A State Playoffs
First Round

at Wayne Co.
Lincoln 7 6 14 6 – 33
Wayne 14 14 21 7 – 56

Scoring

1st Qtr
Wayne: 9:53 – Braedon Sloan, 45-yard run (Patrick Radilla kick).
Wayne: 4:15 – Sloan 12-yard run (Radilla kick).
Lincoln: 3:47 – Nick Harris 10 yard run (Loren Melton kick).

2nd Qtr
Wayne: 11:24 – Sloan 13-yard run (Dylan Godsey run).
Wayne: 4:13 – Sloan 3-yard run (Kick failed).
Lincoln: :34.5 – Clayton Davis 14-yard run (Pass failed).

3rd Qtr
Wayne: 8:27 – Tito Ruiz 29-yard pass from Weaver (Radilla kick).
Wayne: 6:14 – Dylan Godsey 14-yard pass from Weaver (Radilla kick).
Lincoln: 4:34 – Davis 50-yard pass from Harris (Melton kick).
Wayne: 3:39 – Sloan 41-yard run (Radilla kick).
Lincoln: 1:34 – Davis 51-yard pass from Harris (Melton kick).

4th Qtr
Wayne: 6:37 – Sloan 80-yard interception return (Radilla kick).
Lincoln: 2:48 – Davis 6-yard run (Kick blocked).

Game Stats
LC WC
Rushing 33-209 35-294
Passing 8-18-3 18-23-0
Yards 185 212
Total Off./Yds 51-394 58-506
First Downs 14 19
Fumbles/Lost 2/0 0/0
Penalties 4/45 9/102

Individual Stats

Rushing

Lincoln
Nick Harris: 14 carries, 109 yards, TD.
Clayton Davis: 5 carries, 60 yards, 2TDs.
Dylan Burchfield: 11 carries, 35 yards.
Zack Hazlett: 3 carries, 5 yards.

Wayne
Braedon Sloan: 24 carries, 223 yards, 5TDs.
Carson Simpson: 2 carries, 28 yards.
Brody Weaver: 6 carries, 25 yards.
Javon Sweet: 3 carries, 18 yards.

Passing

Lincoln
Nick Harris – 8-17-3, 185 yards, 2TDs; Clayton Davis – 0-1-0.

Receiving
Clayton Davis – 4-146 yards, 2TDs; Zack Hazlett- 2-23; Justin Bryant – 1-13; Levi Daugherty – 1-3.

Wayne

Brody Weaver – 18-23-0, 212 yards, 2TDs.

Receiving
Tito Ruiz – 8-111 yards, TD; Thomas Spencer – 4-43; Cody Vaughn – 1-19; Dylan Godsey – 2-19, TD; Braedon Slone – 2-18; Carson Simpson – 1-2.