CAPTION – Kristina Lloyd
Mason Thornock wraps up a Needles player for the tackle during a league game last week.

By Marinda Lamb

Early turnovers hurt the Lincoln County High School football team in a road loss at Needles last week.

The game had playoff seeding implications as both teams entered the contest undefeated in league play. Three red zone turnovers led to a 32-20 defeat for the Lynx, according to Coach Raymond Wadsworth.

“You can’t make mistakes against a good team,” he said. “They’ll make you pay for it.”

The Mustangs struck first on just the second play of the game as they ran the ball to get the first touchdown. A two-point conversion made it 8-0. Lincoln’s first drive was unsuccessful, and Needles marched back up the field to score again. Another conversion then made the score 16-0.

Noah Smith helped Lincoln get on the board as he pushed through the defense and got the touchdown to end the first quarter.

Needles quickly answered with another score and conversion early in the second. The Lynx were driving but then lost the next possession with a fumble. However, Kamdon Lewis was able to get it back with an interception, and Mason Thornock connected with Elijah Harr for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the two-point conversion failed. The Lynx held on defense, but a Thornock pass intended for Landen Smith was intercepted and returned for another Mustangs touchdown, making the score 32-12 at halftime.

After the half, Lincoln started to pick up their defense. Middle linebacker Matt Harr was a big help to stop Needles. The strong defense included a Dean Ottley sack on the quarterback in the third quarter, pushing the Mustangs about seven yards.

In the fourth quarter, Noah Smith pushed through Needles’ defense to get a touchdown, and Thornock connected with Landen Smith to get the two-point conversion.

“Defensively, we did a lot better in the second half,” Wadsworth said. “Kids started doing their jobs and starting sticking to the gameplan.”

The Lynx were able to prevent the Mustangs from scoring in the second half, but couldn’t muster enough points to overtake the lead. The rough start in the beginning ultimately lost them the game.

The Lynx (5-3, 4-1) are in Las Vegas tonight to play Mountain View (0-5, 0-5), starting at 7:00 p.m.