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Knights take JV crown

The North Lincoln Knights beat Lincolnton 14-8 Thursday night in a battle for the Southern Piedmont Conference championship.
Josh Mull scored the Knights first touchdown in the second quarter, as he hit the left sideline for a 33-yard score.
With a minute remaining in the half, sophomore corner Chad Arndt set up the Knights’ second score of the night with a 37-yard interception return.
His teammate, freshman Ty Gray hit Pat Sykes for a 17-yard score with a minute remaining in the half, giving the Knights a 14-0 lead entering the locker rooms.
The Wolves got on the scoreboard with five minutes left as Adam Thompson connected with Jimmy Angle for a 15-yard score. Running back Jed Downs ran in the two-point conversion.
North Lincoln finished conference play unblemished with a 6-0 record. They went 8-1 on the season, a fact that makes Beam think about the future.
“We won the conference championship and we’re county champs. I’m very proud of these kids. They came from winning it last year in middle school and they’re some good players that we’re excited about having on the varsity next year,” Beam said. “They played hard. We really haven’t been too successful the last couple of years, because they were so young. They know they have to go lift, get faster and stronger to be ready for next year,” he added.
Led by defensive coordinators Wes ‘The Local Legend’ Beam and Jason Barnes, North Lincoln only surrendered a stingy 53 points on the season.
“That’s a feat. They have a lot to be proud of. Yeah, we were able to go undefeated in the conference. I believe we’ll be able to build off this year,” Matt Beam said.
Sykes led the team in interceptions with five, while Arndt chipped in with two of his own. Josh Neratka, who was a defensive standout Thursday night, led the Knights from his linebacker position. Gray was a standout on both sides of the ball.
Although Lincolnton (6-4, 4-2) wasn’t able to win the conference championship, it was quite an achievement just playing for it as 11 sophomores moved up to varsity, instead of playing JV.
“Considering the fact we still had a shot at the JV championship really says a lot about our kids. They really worked hard and they improved throughout the season,” Wolves’ head coach Fred Dalrymple said.
Lincolnton’s JV team returned no starters from last season’s squad. Andrew Keene made both extra-point attempts for the Knights.
by John Mark Brooks

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