By Antoine Aluqdah
The Lincoln University Lions football team was defeated by the Kentucky State University Thorobreds 35-23 on Saturday evening.
The Lions fell short after losing a 10 point lead early in the second quarter. The Thorobreds went on to score 22 unanswered points.
“I believe that was the momentum switched in their favor going into the half,” said O.J. Abanishe, head coach for the Lions. Abanishe also contributed the loss to missed tackles and the Kentucky State Thorobreads special teams who blocked the Lions’ extra point attempt.
In the third quarter the Lions stopped the Thorobreds passing attack thanks to LU All-American Defensive End Tim Green who had 13 tackles, seven of which were tackles for loss, nine solo tackles, four assisted tackles, and a fumble recovery.
“I just took advantage of where coach put me on the field. This was successful for our defense when it came to defending them trying to throw their screen passes in the second half,” said Green, the senior from Fanwood, N.J.
However, it didn’t stop the Thorobreds from scoring. Instead of passing the ball, they relied on their three headed, bruising running backs who combined for 259 rushing yards on 52 carries and three touchdowns; two of which came in the third quarter.
Turnovers also played a key role on field position throughout the game. Lincoln had three turnovers compared to Kentucky State’s two.
“We just have to take care of the ball and convert on third downs, especially on short yardage situations,” said Abanishe.
The Lions were two out of 14 on third down conversions.
In the fourth quarter the Lions tried to make a comeback with a touchdown by Gerald Swain, a senior running back from Burlington Township, N.J. With ten minutes left in the game the momentum switched in favor of the Thorobreds when an interception returned for a touchdown by Tyahir Mitchell was called back for pass interference.
“That was one of the emotional highs and lows of the game,” said Abanishe. “It was a big flag thrown with just over ten minutes left.”
In Saturday night’s game, the Lions rushed for over 100 yards, which hasn’t happened in a year. They are planning on using that in conference play starting next week.
“The offensive line did a fantastic job blocking today,” said Swain. “I feel as we go into conference play we will be able to move the ball on the ground effectively.”
The Lions (0-3) begin conference play on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Salisbury, N.C., against Livingstone College (0-3).