The Lincolnton Wolves remained undefeated in Midwest 2A conference play with a 13-0 win over Newton-Conover Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
The win was not a pretty one for the Wolves, but it does push their record to 4-0 in league play, 6-2 overall, keeping Lincolnton in a tie for first place with top-ranked Shelby.
Lincolnton got on the board on the opening drive of the game when George Ramirez connected on a 32-yard field goal. The score was set up by two key pass completions from quarterback Zack Gibson. Gibson connected with Demory Williams for 18 yards and Shane Faw for 14 yards to put the Wolves in field goal range.
Late in the second quarter, the Wolves went on a seven play 77 yard drive, including five completions from Gibson for 73 of the yards. Gibson found tight end Dustin Metts for a 15-yard scoring strike with 38 seconds to play in the half. Ramirez added the extra point, and Lincolnton had a 10-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Wolves` Derek Butler recovered a Red Devil fumble at the Newton-Conover 38 yard line. After three straight incomplete passes, Gibson hit Dusty Friday for a 15-yard gain to the Red Devil 23-yard line.
Following a five yard offsides penalty on Newton-Conover, Ramirez came on to attempt his second field goal of the night. This time Ramirez made it from 35 yards out as time expired, and Lincolnton took a 13-0 lead into the half.
The second half was mostly a defensive struggle. Neither team was able to put more than a couple first downs together on any one drive. The Red Devils did drive to the Lincolnton 14-yard line late in the third quarter, but turned the ball over when fullback Shea Sample fumbled on third down and two.
The Wolvesâ€™ defense held Newton-Conover to 158 yards of total offense on the night, 104 on the ground and 54 through the air. Lincolnton gained 252 yards total, including 146 passing. Gibson finished the night completing 10 of 24 passes for all 146 yards. Dusty Friday led the Wolves on the ground, gaining 51 yards on seventeen carries.
“We didn`t play very well”, said Lincolnton head coach Scott Cloninger. “We`re not happy, and we`re not satisfied. Defensively we played OK. Abner Rangel, Demory Williams and Jacquece Reeves had solid games on defense.
“We concentrated on stopping the fullback(Shea Sample). “I thought we did a good job of that,â€ Cloninger said.
Sample was held to 28 yards on 11 carries.
Cloninger also noted that the absence of offensive lineman Wesley Winburn hurt his team offensively. Winburn was forced to sit out of the game with a sprained knee. Winburn is expected to play this Friday night at Shelby (7-1, 4-0) when first place is one the line.
Newton-Conover falls to 1-3 in conference play, and 2-6 overall.
by David Keever