Lincoln Beats Windsor, Returns To Final Four

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
And then there were four. It was a nice Saturday afternoon for a fall football game. The number one ranked (13-0) Lincoln Cardinals came out and made a statement early en route to a 36-6 victory over arguably the best football team in Windsor history. Now Lincoln has a home date at 1:00  PM on Saturday against Marceline (12-1).The Tigers defeated South Callaway 20-7 also on Saturday.
The Windsor defense was tougher than the score might indicate. Turnovers gave Lincoln a couple of great scoring opportunities on which they capitalized as good teams usually do.
On the first drive of the game, Lincoln went some 60 yards on 12 plays. Paydirt was hard to find as Lincoln scored on a fourth down up the middle dive by QB Jackson Beaman at the 5:48 mark behind the blocking of Tanner Bays and Gabe Mehrens among others.
Bo Kroenke ,who at times seems immune to pain as he takes some hard hits, intercepted his first pass of the day. Beaman hit Hesse for a nice gain and Beaman then dodged and skipped his way to a 10 yard TD run.
Devon Parrott, who made the first PAT, saw a low snap and kick blocked by a good Windsor defensive line. It was 13-0 after one and the Lincoln fans breathed a little better but still had anxious moments.
Early in the second quarter, Lincoln who was called for a couple of false starts on the day, saw Beaman scramble on the somewhat muddy field and find an open Freshman Connor Lynde for a 43 yard TD. The magic leg of Parrott kicked the PAT and it 20-0  half.
At the 5:33 mark, Jackson Beaman would slip and fall on fourth down at the 40 therein turning the ball over to Windsor, who was desperate for a score.
Beaman commented, “The field was muddy. It was a mess. Usually this field is pretty good but not today.”
Beaman would make a nice sliding interception after just two offensive plays by the Greyhounds. However, Windsor would figure some things out and stop Lincoln once again but it wasn’t their day as a bad snap on a punt by Windsor ended up going out of the endzone for a safety. It was now 22-0.
Once again, Windsor forced Lincoln to punt only to have the ball hit one of their players and it was recovered by Linocln at the one. Beaman took the gift and rushed in for the score. The PAT was good and it was 29-0 going into the second half.
After both teams fumbled, Jonah Roberts, one of the best running backs around, would break free around the right hand side and race 60 yards untouched for the TD.
Hayden Beaman commented, “We came out a little flat in the second half and missed some tackles on Roberts. He is a great  athlete and is hard to bring down.”
Yes, Roberts would carry tacklers all day long. Windsor missed the two point attempt and it was now 29-6 and Windsor fans had a little something to cheer about. The third quarter would end with Lincoln driving the ball.
In the fourth, on the very first play at the 11:57 mark, Lincoln would put the finishing touches on a 80 yard drive with Mr. Beaman scoring from the one yard line. You know who would kick the PAT and it was 36-6.
Coach Kevin LaFavor commented, “We are far from a perfect team. We will work hard to clean some things up in practice this week. Marceline has one of best running backs in the state. We will have to key on him like we did on number 4 for Windsor.”
Beaman was 18-30 for 245 yards in the air with 1 TD. He rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries with 4 TD’s.
Parker Engles was 7-21 rushing and had a team high 12 tackles. Levi Betts had 11.
Earlier in the season, it was Bo Kroenke and Nate Hesse catching most of the passes. Saturday, Joe Bittner, called Joe Bit by his teammates, caught five curls for 85 yards. Freshman Connor Lynde was 3-68 with the huge 45 yard TD catch. Kroenke was 5-19 and Hesse was 4-48.
Beaman had the diving interception and Kroenke picked off two.  The last one was in the endzone to end Windsor’s scoring threat with just over a minute to go. Beaman took a knee and it was over.
Freshman Ross Johnson had some nice carries, freeing up Parker Engles and Beaman. While the Cardinals might have seemed pass-happy at times, they were saving Beaman from possible injury.
Lincoln had beaten Windsor 40-14 on September 20 at Windsor. Roberts was banged up some at the time and Lincoln was concerned after Windsor avenged their other defeat 41-14 to Adrian with a 20-19 victory to get to the quarterfinals. LaFavor commented, “I was glad that Adrian game happened because it made our kids realize that they can be beaten after winning big. That  helped us to refocus.”
Now comes Saturday and their first Final Four home game. Hopefully the weather will be decent as it has been so far. So be there at 1:00 or watch the game on BCETV.