It’s never easy to play out the second half when your team is on the wrong end of a continuous-clock game, especially in the playoffs. But give Lincoln credit for not heading toward the buses when the clock started running at the beginning of the second half.
I’ve seen more than my share of running-clock games since the mercy rule was installed in 2001, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a losing team score twice in such a game, let alone three times as the Patriots did on Friday in their Class 5A semifinal.
Yes, they scored against Highlands’ second-stringers, and it’s hard to imagine after watching the first half that they could have reached the end zone even once against the starters — at least not on that night. Highlands was the better team, and the difference really wasn’t close.
Three scores don’t add up to much when you’re losing by seven, but those second-half touchdowns showed that a proud team was still working hard. After the game, more than one player referred to “all those fans that drove all the way up here,” saying they were embarrassed after the first half and were determined to play for pride.
This Lincoln team will be remembered for exceeding almost everyone’s expectations, for its impressive defensive performances throughout the season and for reaching the state semifinals for the fourth time in 34 football seasons. But it should also be remembered for what happened in the second half Friday, which made no difference in the game but certainly made an impression.
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Here are some Lincoln-related links:
- The Advocate’s game story, as well as game stories from The Kentucky Post and The Kentucky Enquirer.
- Audio files from the Lincoln webcast of interviews with coach Larry French and junior running back Trey Edwards.
- Game highlights and an interview with Highlands quarterback Clay Cecil from WXIX-TV (highlights begin 1:48 into the video, and the entire package lasts about 2:20), game highlights, and from WLWT-TV, video of Cecil’s 92-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter.