By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
Lincoln----If there was anything that made the difference in the game, it was the Lincoln East defense. The Spartans (2-5) capitalized off a Reece Schwartz interception and 19-yard return for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter enroute to a 38-31 win over Norfolk Friday afternoon at Seacrest Field.
Schwartz, the Anderson Ford Player of the Game, had another interception in the game to help spark the Spartan defense. East was trailing 10-0 after the 1st quarter, after Norfolk scored off of a touchdown from quarterback Lance Lawson and 34-yard field goal from kicker AJ Spanel. East fought back in the first minute of the 2nd quarter, when quarterback Scott Sunderman hit receiver Drew Sankey on a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Lawson scored again on a 1-yard run for the Panthers to extend the lead to 17-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Drew Zobel zipped down the sideline on a 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to pull East to within four at 17-13, which turned out to be the McDonald's/Baylor Test Prep play of the game.
A fumble by Lawson at the start of the next Panther drive was recovered by East linebacker Pete Meginnis. The drive stalled and resulted with a 37-yard field goal from Zach Zmienski to pull the Spartans to a one point game, with Panthers leading 17-16.
Lawson would break out for a 71-yard touchdown run on the next Norfolk drive that put them up 24-16 with 5:36 left before halftime. East was already building up momentum on the final drive of the half, as receiver Tyson Clark capped it off by grabbing a 16-yard touchdown pass from Sunderman with 1:19 left. Sunderman then hit Aaron Kilgore for the 2-point conversion and tied it at 24 at halftime.
It became a more defensive game in the 2nd half, with Schwartz' pass and return for a touchdown. After the Schwartz touchdown, Sankey caught a pass from 4-yards out to give East a 38-24 lead with 4:00 left. After Lawson ran in for another touchdown with 2:00 left, Norfolk was started to get hot toward the goal line, but Lawson threw an interception that was picked off by Pete Meginnis.
Panthers had Lawson run for 118 yards in the first half, while Tyson McGill had 122.
East sophomore Bryan Bostwick scored on 99 yards passing and 71 yards rushing on 25 carries.