Lincoln (3-4, 3-2 in Class 4A, Region 5) rode sophomore Zavian Caldwell who had one rushing touchdown and a 64-yard reception to set up another touchdown. Caldwell also intercepted a pass with 59 seconds left in the game to secure the win for Lincoln. The talented sophomore ended the game with 83 yards receiving and 56-yards rushing.
“Caldwell for the last three weeks has become one of the most talented 10th graders I’ve ever laid my eyes on,” Lincoln coach Brad Wallace said. “He comes out and he performs. He brings life to this team.”
Lincoln wasted no time in putting their first points on the board marching from their own 40 to score from 7 yards out on a keeper from senior quarterback Chance Byrd.
Jacksonville (5-2, 3-2) tied the game quarterback Jackson Bell hit Nick Gangwer on a 14-yard scoring pass. Caldwell followed with a 28-yard touchdown run.
The Golden Bears brought their fans to their feet at the start of the second quarter when Justin Knight returned a punt from his own 5-yard line to the Jacksonville 5. Jaunta’vius Johnson drove the ball in for yet another Lincoln touchdown and the Golden Bears were quickly up 22-7 with a 2-point conversion.
Byrd and Caldwell connected on a 64-yard pass in the third quarter setting up another touchdown by Johnson.
Jacksonville made a game of it in the fourth quarter, coming alive for a touchdown with 8:06 remaining in the game. After driving down the field, Bell ran the ball in himself from 8 yards out. The extra point was good, and the Eagles with momentum behind them were down 28-21.
Jacksonville had the ball at its own 15 with more than two minutes to play.
Bell hit Dominique Thomas, then Payton Sims who made an acrobatic catch to get the Eagles to their own 37.
A pass to Sid Thurmond put the Eagles into Lincoln territory but on the next play the ball sailed through the hands of a Jacksonville receiver and into the waiting arms of Caldwell.