The Wolves homecoming game with Bessemer City Friday night proved to be the mismatch that it was billed to be.
Lincolnton scored 28 points in the first seven and a half minutes of the game en route to a 55-20 dismantling of the Yellow Jackets at Von Ray Harris field.
On a night that saw Chase Hoyle crowned homecoming queen, senior kick returner Shane Faw stole the show with a great display of returns that spelled doom for Bessemer City early on.
After the Wolves got on the board with a 19-yard scoring run from sophomore tailback C.J. Wilson, the Lincolnton defense forced the Jackets to punt after three plays.
Faw took the punt and raced 63 yards down the sideline into the end zone for a score. George Ramirez added the point after, and the Wolves lead was 14-0.
On Lincolnton`s next possession, senior quarterback Zack Gibson continued his stellar season with a seven-yard touchdown toss to Wilson. The point after was good, and Lincolnton had built a 21-0 lead with 8:47 still to play in the first quarter.
Following the Jackets fourth consecutive three play series, it was time for Faw to shine again. Faw shook the initial would-be tackler, and sped 58 yards down the sideline again, weaving his way around defenders and across the goal line for his second touchdown of the evening.
Junior fullback Marcus Williams` nine-yard run midway through the second quarter gave the Wolves a commanding 34-0 lead, and Bessemer City had not yet gained a first down.
The Jackets, however, were able to put some offenese together on their next drive. Quarterback Jeremy Howell found Rafael Webster behind Lincolnton defenders on the sideline for a 64-yard scoring pass late in the half to give Bessemer City some life heading to the locker room at intermission.
After the halftime ceremonies, Faw continued his astonishing performance, returning the opening kickoff 78 yards to pay dirt for his third score of the night, all on kick returns, to give the Wolves a 41-6 advantage.
Lincolnton head coach Scott Cloninger was happy, but not surprised by Faw`s big night. “I wondered if our offense would get on the field,” the coach noted. “I`m very pleased with our special teams play right now.”
Lincolnton tacked on a couple more scores later on. One came on a two-yard pass from Gibson to sophomore tight end Demery Brewer. The touchdown pass by Gibson was his 23rd on the season.
The last score of the night by the Wolves came from seldom used running back Lance Friday. Friday`s 20-yard run through the middle of the Bessemer City defense gave Lincolnton 55 points for the game. This marks the third time that the Wolves have scored 55 or more points in a game this season.
Wilson led the way for the Wolves offense on the ground, gaining 104 yards on just eight carries. Ten different players carried the football for the Wolves Friday night as they piled up 245 yards rushing.
Brewer and Wilson were the top Lincolnton receivers in the game. Brewer hauled in three passes for 55 yards, while Wilson had three catches for 24 yards. Brewer and Wilson each had a receiving touchdown.
Gibson, the Wolves standout quarterback, completed eight passes for 94 yards and a pair of scores. The 94 yards were far below Gibson`s season average, but the need to throw the ball just wasn`t there against the outmanned Yellow Jackets.
“We`ve been on both sides,” said Cloninger. “There is no need to throw the ball when you don`t need to.”
With the win, Lincolnton improves to 8-1 on the season, 4-0 in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A. Bessemer city remains winless, falling to 0-9.
The Wolves will be at home again on Friday night, as they host Cherryville. Bessemer City will also be at home to take on South Iredell.
by David Keever