Last Friday night, Lincoln County High School football fans filled the bleachers in Panaca for an important league showdown with The Meadows. The crowd anticipated a tougher game for the Lynx compared to the team’s previous two shutout wins against Agassi and Lake Mead.
The fans were right, as Lincoln held just a three-point lead at halftime. But their team was ultimately too for much for the Mustangs and pulled away in the second half for a 52-33 win.
Junior Landon Smith led the way for Lincoln, rushing for 142 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns and another 130 yards on two big catches for two more TDs.
The first half saw both teams trading blows. On offense, Lincoln County mixed its strong running attack and its increasingly solid passing game.
Meadows held a small lead toward the end of the first half. But with seconds left, Coach Rich Ottley decided to go all out, and senior quarterback Cody Thornock connected on a rainbow to Smith for a 65-yard touchdown, giving Lincoln a 23-20 halftime lead.
“That catch was a huge momentum builder,” Ottley said.
Meadows fought back with a touchdown early in the third to take the lead 27-23. But the Lynx wouldn’t let up. Thornock connected with Sophomore Kamdon Lewis for a 70-yard touchdown, delighting the home crowd.
From there, the Lynx defense stepped up, shutting down Meadows for most of the second half. Ottley said he was very pleased with the way his defense performed.
Smith, Thornock, Derek Mathews and Zach Rowe produced big yards on the ground, and Mathews snapped the Meadows defensive line in half for a 35-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Later on, Smith intercepted a pass and took it all the way back for another score.
The Meadows got one more touchdown late in the fourth, but Smith came right back for a touchdown run to finish off the game.
Last season Lincoln beat Meadows twice, once in double overtime and once in the playoffs. The team continues their winning streak against them and also in the league. The Lynx are 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Mustangs drop to 3-2 and 2-1.
Lincoln is at Laughlin tonight, and Ottley didn’t show much concern for the Cougars, but he did mention they have 220 pound running back to watch out for.
Lincoln County, Needles, and Meadows are the only teams currently with a winning record, and Needles is also undefeated at 5-0, 2-0.
On the 14th, the Lynx are at White Pine for a non-league game. They host Needles on the 21st.