Turf’s Up At Lin­coln


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

LIN­COLN — Those who found their party on the beach wrecked by forces of na­ture and seek­ing a new home or new high school might find Lin­coln ap­peal­ing.

Turf’s up at Lin­coln in north­west Arkansas about 700 miles in­land from Port Aransas near Cor­pus Christi, Texas, where the eye of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey made land­fall Aug. 25. Lin­coln lies ap­prox­i­mately 543 miles north and slightly east of Hous­ton, an­other city ham­mered by Har­vey. Foot­ball play­ers ac­cus­tomed to play­ing on ar­ti­fi­cial turf and cheer­lead­ers used to danc­ing on the sur­face be­fore they were up­rooted by the hur­ri­cane’s dev­as­ta­tion might find the laid-back at­mos­phere of Lin­coln sooth­ing af­ter their hec­tic ex­pe­ri­ences.

This has hap­pened be­fore among 4A-1 teams sit­u­ated along U.S. 62. Former Prairie Grove All-State line­backer Bran­don Nodier was dis­placed by Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina and be­came a force in the league.

Maybe now Lin­coln takes their turn play­ing host to a dis­placed fam­ily. In this sea­son of the “Un­prece­dented,” things out of the or­di­nary can and will hap­pen, es­pe­cially when prepa­ra­tions are made to ac­com­mo­date the op­por­tu­nity.

That is ex­actly what Lin­coln has been do­ing. The in­stal­la­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial turf at Wolfpack Sta­dium is com­plete.

Play­ing their first game on newly-in­stalled ar­ti­fi­cial turf, Lin­coln’s spread of­fense was se­verely hand­i­capped by in­juries to its quar­ter­back­ing corps in a 34-16 loss to Keys, Okla., (2-0) Fri­day.

Starter Caleb Lloyd suf­fered an in­jury on his throw­ing hand early and backup quar­ter­back Ster­ling Mor­phis in­jured his hand on the field with the Wolves’ de­fense.

“We ran into a prob­lem when Caleb hurt his hand in the first quar­ter. Our backup quar­ter­back hurt his hand play­ing de­fense. We had no­body who could throw it,” said Lin­coln coach Don Har­ri­son.

Keys led 22-0 at half­time. The only con­so­la­tion for Wolves fans was a half­time ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony to cel­e­brate the new turf.

De­spite the in­jury Lloyd played line­backer in the sec­ond half and Lin­coln (1-1) looked poised to hold af­ter stuff­ing a pair of runs, but on third-and-17 Alden Ter­rell ran for 31 yards. Ter­rell capped a six play, 71-yard drive with a 23-yard touch­down run to push Keys’ lead out to 28-0.

Play­ing hurt, Lloyd grit­tily engi­neered an 83-yard scor­ing march for Lin­coln. He con­verted a third down with a 10-yard rush and com­pleted a deep pass to Lyn­don Miller for 48 yards. The Cougars were flagged for un­sports­man­like con­duct on Ja­cob An­der­son’s run mov­ing the ball to the five. From there, Lloyd hit Braden Um­ber­son with a touch­down pass to score the Wolves’ first touch­down on their new turf. Um­ber­son ran in the 2-point con­ver­sion.

Keys held the ball for nearly five min­utes be­fore los­ing pos­ses­sion on downs partly due to Zach Dun­can’s sack. Lloyd was de­ter­mined to keep play­ing as long as he could and again guided the Wolves on a long scor­ing drive of 78 yards. He found An­der­son for 15 yards on sec­ond-and-16 and later in the drive hooked up with Cam Brown for 14 yards on fourth-and-10. Um­ber­son’s 15-yard gain put Lin­coln in the red zone, but they wound up in fourth-and-17 from the 27. Um­ber­son wres­tled the ball away from a de­fen­sive back and was brought down at the one. He ran the ball in on the next play for his sec­ond touch­down. Hunter Phe­lan caught Lloyd’s pass for the 2-point con­ver­sion.

Lin­coln was within 28-16 with 10:32 to go in the fourth, but even­tu­ally pain in Lloyd’s throw­ing hand caught up to them. Keys se­nior Bray­den Pa­trick picked off an un­der-thrown pass and ran the ball back 38 yards for a de­fen­sive touch­down to seal the game for the Cougars at the 3:22 mark of the fourth.

Lin­coln cel­e­brates Home­com­ing next week against Mans­field. Kick­off is at 7 p.m. at Wolfpack Sta­dium.


Lin­coln ju­nior quar­ter­back Caleb Lloyd is sacked by Bran­don Garner of Keys, Okla. The Keys Cougars de­feated Lin­coln, 34-16, Fri­day. Lloyd in­jured his throw­ing hand in the first half. He came out and played hurt in the sec­ond half to lead Lin­coln on two long scor­ing drives. Pain caused him to un­der-throw passes and he left the game in the fourth quar­ter.

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