HAMLIN — It was a battle of two top 16 teams in Class AAA on Friday night in Hamlin as No. 15 Hurricane traveled to Lincoln County for the first time since 2008 and defeated the No. 16 ranked Panthers 34-6 in a game at Lions Club Field.
The Redskins (4-3) got the scoring started late in the first quarter as Brogan Brown scampered into the end zone from 15 yards away to cap a long scoring drive. Troy Conley’s point after was good and the visitors took a 7-0 lead with 1:24 in the first.
The Hurricane offense carried that momentum over into the second quarter as senior quarterback Ismael Barrero found his groove in the passing game.
Barrero fired two touchdown strikes in the second quarter, a 7 yard pass to Luke Rippetoe and a 45 yard swing pass to Chase Hager, as Hurricane took the 21-0 lead going into halftime.
Coming out of the break head coach Bradley Likens’ Panthers squad finally found their stride offensively as they marched their way down the field on their first drive of the second half.
Senior running back Isaiah Smith capped off the long drive as he pounded it across the goal line from one yard away as Lincoln County trimmed the deficit to 21-6 with 8:27 left in the third.
That was as close as LCHS would come on this night however as the Hurricane defense held strong the rest of the way and the Redskin offense posted two more scores in the final quarter, a 79 yard sprint from Nas’Jaih Jones and a 3 yard run from Elijah Rivera, as they came away with the 28 point win.
Smith was the top contributor offensively for Lincoln County in the win as he topped 100 yards rushing for seventh time this season. He finished the game with 137 yards rushing on 24 carries.
Quarterback Gabe Bates struggled to get going as he finished 6-15 passing for 20 yards and an interception while running the ball 15 times and being held to negative four yards.
Nolan Shimp ran four times for 11 yards and Blake Adkins ran three times and picked up eight total yards. Shimp also caught two balls for 12 yards. \
Defensively, the Panthers were once again led by Shimp as he turned in 16 total tackles including one behind the line of scrimmage. Colin Miller was next with eight tackles while Luke Adkins, Austin Adkins, Isaiah Koontz, and Dustin Jeffers each finished with six.
The Panthers forced one turnover as Smith was able to recover a fumble.
The win for Hurricane sees them improve their record to 3-0 all-time against Lincoln County and 4-3 in the 2021 regular season. They have a bye week this Friday night and will then return home to play Capital on Oct. 22.
With the loss Lincoln County falls to 3-4 on the season and will more than likely fall out of the top 16 in Class AAA. The Panthers will remain at home this week as they are scheduled to host 3-1 Clay County on Senior Night at Lions Club Field.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. for what will be the final home game of 2021 for Lincoln County.
Score by Quarters
HHS (4-3): 7 14 0 13 — 34
LCHS (3-4): 0 0 6 0 — 6
H: Brogan Brown 15 yard run (Troy Conley PAT Good) 1:24
H: Ismael Barrero 7 yard pass to Luke Rippetoe (Conley PAT Good) 5:03
H: Barrero 45 yard pass to Chase Hager (Conley PAT Good) 1:52
LC: Isaiah Smith 1 yard run (run failed) 8:27
H: Nas’Jaih Jones 79 yard run (Conley PAT Good) 11:19
H: Elijah Rivera 3 yard run (Conley PAT No Good) 5:16