MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 16, 2013

Lincoln Christian ends season for Stigler, 41-21

By Jimmy Stinson
Phoenix Correspondent

— STIGLER — The battle between cats and dogs of this kind usually go the way of the cat.

However on this Friday night, the Bulldogs of Lincoln Christian took one in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs with a 41-21 victory against the Stigler Panthers at Panther Stadium.

The home team struck first after holding Lincoln Christian on the first possession as a steady ground attack of 13 plays put them on the board first, taking six minutes off the clock.

Seth  Sandlin and Trace Jackson did all of the work on the 79-yard drive with Jackson picking up 15 yards on five carries. Sandlin picked up the remaining 64 yards on eight carries, including the final two yards for the score.  Stigler also converted on two fourth-down attempts on the drive.

The 6-0 lead was the only advantage Stigler would own. The momentum in the game changed after the extra point kick was wide right.

“We had an opportunity or two to put more points on the board, but we just didn’t execute,” said Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover, his team finishing 8-3 after a runner-up finish in District 3A-8.

Lincoln Christian answered on their next possession with a 70-yard drive of its own. After a false start penalty and an incomplete pass, the Bulldogs found something in the Stigler defense they liked.  A bootleg pass from Micah Wilson to Alec Davidson, followed by consecutive screen passes moved the ball across midfield.

An offside penalty against Stigler set the Bulldogs up at the Panther 25. Back-to-back rushes by Wilson, including a 16-yarder that tied the game and with Austin Wormell’s extra point, put the Bulldogs up 7-6.

“We didn’t tackle very well in space and we haven’t seen that type of speed,” Risenhoover said. “Give credit to their coaches. They executed the screens and bootlegs well and that put our defensive ends in a pickle.”

Lincoln added another score after picking off a Sandlin pass. Davidson jumped in front of the pass at the Bulldog 29 and returned it to the Lincoln 48.

Eight plays later, Wilson hooked up with Davidson on a 15-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 14-6.  

Stigler had a chance at the end of the second quarter but came up empty-handed.

The Panthers took the ball at their own 40 and drove to the Lincoln 6. A Sandlin run resulted in a six-yard loss.  Another Sandlin carry went five yards to set the Panthers up again at the 6.  But two pass attempts by Sandlin fell to the ground and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.

“We came out and did pretty good at first,” Sandlin said. “Our run game was there, but give them credit, they played hard and they are disciplined.”

Lincoln, which finished third in District 3A-7 and meets Victory Christian next Friday, scored on three of its four second-half possessions.

The first took only eight seconds and 15 yards when Wilson found Tim Schwoegler for a 15-yard pass and the Bulldogs added scores on a seven-yard run by Reed Martin and a 17-yard throw from Wilson to Jacob White.

Stigler added a touchdown on a six yard scamper by Sandlin to bring the score to 20-13.

The dagger for Stigler came on their third drive. Sandlin dropped back and found Jake Henson, who attempted a lateral but fumbled and the ball was scooped up by Schwoegler and returned 43 yards for the score.

Lincoln found the scoreboard the last time on a 17-yard toss from Wilson to White to balloon the lead to 41-13.  Sandlin added a one-yard touchdown with 7:35 left in the game and found Blaine Thompson for the conversion to cut the lead to 41-21.