Wolves Face Yel­low­jack­ets

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Humphrey

LIN­COLN — A new dy­namic to the gridiron bor­der ri­valry billed as the “State Line Stand­off” between Lin­coln and Westville, Okla., this year sends a tro­phy home with the win­ning team.

Lin­coln head foot­ball coach Don Har­ri­son achieves a unique dis­tinc­tion in the an­nals of se­nior high Wolves’ foot­ball with the es­tab­lish­ment of a bor­der ri­valry tro­phy that will go to the win­ner of Fri­day’s gridiron con­test between Lin­coln and Westville, Okla.

This sea­son new Westville head coach Ed Baker will at­tempt to open his ca­reer with a road win. Ac­cord­ing to Bren­dal Rec­tor, who op­er­ates the Westville Yel­low­jacket Foot­ball, and Westville Foot­ball His­tory Book Face­book page; the last Westville, Okla. foot­ball coach to open his ca­reer with a road win was James Wheeler, who in 1949 led the Yel­low­jack­ets to a 7-0 vic­tory over Ben­tonville.

For­mer Lin­coln of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Tyler Dor­ton, who took Westville’s head coach­ing job in May of 2017, left the Yel­low­jack­ets a year later. Ac­cord­ing to Har­ri­son, Dor­ton is now of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at Ada, Okla.

In June, Westville hired Baker as the 32nd head coach in school his­tory. Baker comes to Westville from Perryville. The Yel­low­jack­ets went 1-9 last sea­son and were outscored by al­most 35 points-per-game (133-481). Enter Baker, who led Perryville into Arkansas’ 3A play­offs last sea­son with a 7-4 record. No Yel­low­jacket head foot­ball coach has be­gun his ten­ure with a win since Jeff Col­lyge in 1989.

Har­ri­son got his first win in the series last sea­son at Westville (18-7) af­ter suf­fer­ing losses of 49-19 in 2015, and 42-7 in 2016. On Sept. 2, 2011, Westville area na­tive Cheyenne Vaughn quar­ter­backed Lin­coln to a 42-12 win on his way to a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive All-State sea­son and Lin­coln’s sec­ond play­off berth in school his­tory with a 7-4 record. That was the Wolves’ last sea­son com­pet­ing as a 3A foot­ball team. Vaughn and the Wolves lost 42-13 to Westville on Sept. 3, 2010.

Should the Yel­low­jack­ets win five games in 2018, they will reach 400 wins in school his­tory. Westville has never won more than 9 games in a sin­gle sea­son. The Yel­low­jack­ets achieved that three times, ac­cord­ing to Rec­tor, in 1930, 1932, and 1986.

Lin­coln’s best sea­son to date man­i­fested in 2013 fea­tur­ing the school’s first-ever play­off vic­to­ries at home Nov. 15, 2013 by de­feat­ing Nashville (27-13); fol­lowed by a road win Nov. 22, 2013 at Malvern (41-21). The Wolves fin­ished 11-3 with a 6-1 con­fer­ence record in the 4A-1.

Vype Foot­ball Preview pre-sea­son poll for Ok­la­homa District 2A-5 ranks Westville sixth, be­hind: Hol­land Hall, Vian, Spiro, Tahle­quah Se­quoyah, and Keys, which Lin­coln vis­its Sept. 6; fol­lowed by Po­cola, and Panama. Hootens’ Foot­ball Mag­a­zine ranks Lin­coln fifth in the 4A-1 be­hind: Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge, Shiloh Chris­tian, and Gravette; and ahead of Ber­ryville, Gen­try and Green For­est.

Lin­coln and Westville have played 28 times since 1952. Westville holds an all-time lead in the series with 19 wins com­pared to 8 for Lin­coln with one non­con­fer­ence tie. The Yel­low­jack­ets hold a 9-6 series lead at Atkin-Lan­g­ley Field and a 10-2-1 edge in games played at Lin­coln.


Lin­coln se­nior quar­ter­back Caleb Lloyd (6-0, 225) leads six re­turn­ing starters for the Wolves’ of­fen­sive unit. Lloyd started at tail­back on var­sity as a fresh­man and sopho­more, then be­came Lin­coln’s start­ing quar­ter­back last sea­son, a role he will reprise this year, which opens op­por­tu­ni­ties for other ath­letes to play tail­back.

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