On Oct. 24, Lincoln County High School played host to the Mustangs, a team the Lynx recently defeated in Needles and did it again on senior night, 34-0. The Lynx arrived on the field with a four-game winning streak and undefeated in league play. Needles may have wanted to get LCHS back for their last meeting, but the numbers didn’t lie; it was going to be a long night for the Mustangs.
As the Lynx took to the field, there was a little bit of emotion in the air as this would be the last time the seniors would play in Panaca. Bittersweet as it was, it only strengthened their determination to win this game. The seniors this year include some of the most successful players on the team: Mason Thornock, Jaydon Heaton, Ashton Miller, Dean Otley, Trevin Perkins, Alex Robinson, Dylan Robinson and Joel Robison.
Lincoln received the first kickoff, which, after a short drive up the field, resulted in the first touchdown of the night. It was Thornock who passed the goal line for this first set of points. Needles’ first possession was short before the Mustangs were forced to punt. Lincoln County capitalized on this possession, and while their drive down the field was slow and methodical, the combined rushing might of the Lynx was enough to get the ball into the end zone, once again in the hands of Thornock.
The Mustangs had a considerable amount of success during their next possession, but one of their biggest running plays was brought back due to a holding flag, forcing the team to punt the ball. It was during drives like these that the Mustangs’ coach made his opinion known, and his “instructions” could be heard from across the field. The mistakes kept on happening, however, and another flag and a touchdown later, Lincoln County was up by 18 points.
To start the second half, Lincoln was able to force the Mustangs to punt the ball. While Lincoln then began somewhat of a rough second half, the defense was able to force another punt, giving the Lynx the momentum they needed to score another touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, leading to a 26-0 lead for the Lynx.
The next few possessions were uneventful, save for an impressive catch by Anthony Sinay, after a Mustang grabbed the ball, batting it up into the air before it eventually ended up in Sinay’s hands. His subsequent run was impressive as well, and at one point the ball was so close to a first down that the chains actually had to be brought out on the field. This possession ended tragically for Lincoln, however, as they fumbled the ball into Mustang hands.
But Needles didn’t properly capitalize on this mistake, and following another Lynx touchdown by Thornock, the game came to a close with a score of 34-0.
Zile threw for 93 yards and ran for 120, second only to Thornock with 150 rushing yards alongside his 38 yards from passes and all four of the touchdowns scored that evening. Dylan Robinson received two throws and netted 35 yards for Lincoln County alongside Sinay and his miraculous catch that earned the team 23 yards. Perkins, Aidan Anderson, Thornock and Hagen Boyce got a combined 48 tackles throughout the night, with Boyce getting the only sack.
As the fans dispersed, the announcer informed the crowd that a longtime friend to LCHS football had passed away, and it was to Don Phillips that the Lynx dedicated their performance.
The Lynx (6-2, 4-0) will play at Calvary Chapel (0-8, 0-4) to close out the regular season. League playoffs begin Nov. 8 or 9.