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Wolves run past Maiden 21-13

MAIDEN— The old saying goes that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With Lincolnton junior Brandon Wilson out at quarterback the ‘Broken Bone’ showed no signs of slowing down as Wolves sophomore Dee Littlejohn and senior Tevin Avery combined for 291 of the teams’ 399 rushing yards in a 21-13 win Friday at Maiden Blue Devil Stadium.
Lincolnton (2-1) scored three consecutive times in between two Maiden scores in the first and fourth quarter. Maiden junior Nate Johnson scored on a four-yard run with 5:05 left in the game. The Wolves took over from their own 47 and were able to run out the clock.
“It was a great game and we knew Maiden was going to come back and give us everything we wanted,” Lincolnton head coach Scott Cloninger said. “They’re a class program and we were lucky to hold on.”
Despite the eight-point win the Wolves had numerous chances to put the game away early but missed four opportunities and gave the ball away three times on two fumbles and an interception.
“I saw a lot of positive things and I saw some mental breakdowns and that’s what we’ve got to correct… mental mistakes, because we were down there four times,” Cloninger said. “We missed a field goal, didn’t get a fourth and 1, didn’t get another fourth and 1 and then we fumbled on a fourth and 1.”
Regardless of the mistakes, the Wolves coach said there were a lot of positive things he saw including the run game and Wilson, who played solid on defense.
“Brandon Wilson came back and looked good defensively,” the Lincolnton coach said. “We’ve got to be happy with a win like this against a quality Maiden team, but we’re going to need to work on our passing game.”
In a close defensive game, the Wolves collected 421 total yards and Cloninger said sophomore Jalen Littlejohn did a great job of running the offense.
“It was good he could run the whole thing and give other people breaks, that way we didn’t have to bring in the other quarterback, so I’m happy with that,” the Wolves coach said. “He’s learning every day and the defense stepped up and made the plays when they had to. It’s great anytime you win at Maiden because if a tough place to play.”
Maiden sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson showed his poise in the pocket and was able to move the ball but three interceptions hurt the Blue Devils chances.
“Speed wise I think we were pretty much outclassed, they just had the upper-hand in that area,” Maiden head coach Brian Brown said. “I think we helped them a few times but they really played better than we did in the long run and they’ve got a good team.”
Johnson was 13-of-29 passing for 138 yards. He had 16 carries for 46 yards including a rushing TD. In addition to his offensive output, Brown said Johnson played well on defense but he wanted to limit the play of his prized quarterback.
“We’ve got to get him off the field some, he’s playing too much, he’s tired. He’s making some mistakes on offense because he’s tired and he turns around and makes a few on defense. I don’t know he does it because he’s such a competitor. I thought he was down (Friday) but he was making plays, throwing the ball great and he’s pretty impressive for a sophomore.”
The Blue Devils were without the services of senior tailback Cody Beal, who should be back next week, but Brown said he felt like the team had enough depth at his position that it really didn’t make too much of a difference in the game other than experience wise.
Overall Brown said Lincolnton had too much speed to contain but was proud of the way his young team played.
“I thought they definitely outplayed us for the majority of the game but I’m proud of our kids kept battling,” he said.

Lincolnton senior Rashad Thompson helped pace the Wolves offense as he had seven carries for 47 yards in a 21-13 win on Friday against rival Maiden. Tina Huggins / LTN Photo

by Michael Christopher

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