LINCOLN --- Lincoln controlled the clock, but Rogers ruled the scoreboard.
The Vikings only had the ball on offense for approximately 10½ of the first 31½ minutes of Monday night’s Division III game at Ferguson Field, but that didn’t prevent them from producing 35 points and 228 yards of real estate and cruising to a 41-6 victory.
The Vikings, who are regarded as one of the fastest teams in the division, had their speed on display before a sparse gathering of fans. They concluded the night with 320 yards of offense and big games from running back Reeyon Watts (120 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries) and quarterback Cody Platt (5-of-6 for 128 yards and two TD passes).
“That’s a very good team,” Lincoln coach Dave Waycott admitted. “Speed kills and they definitely had it. They have speed, they’re very fundamentally sound, and when they get on a block, they stay on a block. They’re good.”
The Lions not only had their problems containing the Vikings and winning the battles up front, but they also had troubles in the red zone during the opening half. They went 1-for-4 inside the Vikings’ 20, while the Vikes scored on three of their first four possessions to take a 20-6 lead at the break.
“It was very frustrating,” said Waycott. “One thing here, one thing there, it’s just stuff we have to clean up.”
The Vikings scored the only points they needed five plays into the game on a 50-yard TD run by Watts, who was practically untouched as he raced to the outside on a handoff and sped down the Lions’ sideline, and one of three extra points by Platt.
The Lions got on the board on the final play on the first quarter on a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Palombo to running back Alex O’Hara, who reeled in a lob pass at the 23 and followed a handful of blocks into the end zone.
But Rogers (2-0) quickly answered back with a five-yard touchdown run by Watts 2:32 into the second quarter and a 29-yard TD pass from Platt to Trevor Morgera into the far right corner of the end zone just 73 seconds later.
Watts’ first touchdown and Morgera’s score were just two of 11 plays by the Vikes that produced 10 or more yards. Platt also heaved a 55-yard pass to Morgera late in the third quarter that put the ball on the Lions’ 10, but the Vikes eventually turned the ball over on downs, thanks to a nice goal-line stand by Lincoln.
The Lions were led offensively by Palombo, who ran for 28 yards on six carries and had 109 yards passing, but completed just six of his 17 attempts. Palombo did not play in the second half, as Waycott elected to put wide receiver Mike Siou behind center.
“We were just trying to spark something,” noted Waycott. “We were just trying different things, giving guys different looks at that point.”
The defeat drops the Lions to 0-2. They had defeated East Greenwich by a 20-0 score last weekend, but they were forced to forfeit the game due to unknowingly using an ineligible player by the school’s standards.
“They changed it to a 1-0 loss on the (RIIL) web site, so that’s where we’re at,” offered Waycott. “Every game becomes critical now. There’s only so many division games, and each one now becomes that more important.”
The Lions, who saw last Friday night’s game with Rogers moved to Monday because of the day’s inclement weather, will now have a short week to get ready for their next game, a 1:30 p.m. battle on Saturday against Burrillville (also 0-2) on the Broncos’ campus.
“That game’s right around the corner,” said Waycott. “We’re not going to really practice tomorrow because we just played a very physical game. We’re going to have a few days to get ready, and boom, the next thing you know, it’s (going to be) Saturday. Hopefully, we’ll play better than we did tonight.”
Rogers 7 13 15 6 -- 41
Lincoln 6 0 0 0 -- 6
R – Reeyon Watts 50 run (Cody Platt kick)
L – Alex O’Hara 26 pass from Anthony Palombo (pass failed)
R – Reeyon Watts 3 run (Cody Platt kick)
R – Trevor Morgera 29 pass from Cody Platt (kick failed)
R – Cody Platt 7 run (Trevor Morgera pass from Cody Platt)
R – Trevor Morgera 3 pass from Cody Platt (Cody Platt kick)
R – Thomas Freeman 48 run (kick failed)