Falcons win over Rebels in O/T

Lincoln County High School's Falcons picked up a pair of wins last week. The first coming on Thursday when the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association forced Giles Co. to forfeit five wins from the 2018 season for playing an ineligible player. The second came Friday night with a 24-23 overtime win on the road over Franklin Co.

For years the rivalry between the Falcons and Rebels have been a battle. This year it was a fight for a spot in the playoffs.

Currently in Region 5-5A Page leads at 5-0, 8-1 overall with Columbia remaining. Shelbyville is second, 4-1, 7-2 overall with Franklin Co. remaining; Lincoln Co. and Summit are 3-2, 5-4 overall and will meet this week in a Thursday night match up at Meadows/Thompson Stadium. In a preliminary playoff schedule the winner will travel to Beech 3-3, 6-3, the looser to Hillsboro 3-1, 6-3.

In their final game of the regular season with Summit the Falcons will celebrate Senior Night prior to the game starting at 6:30 p.m.. At half time the sixth class of former Falcons will be inducted into the Falcon Football Hall of Fame. Players to be honored are Lee Ellis, Charles Ray Palmer and Kevin Winsett. Coach Alvin Palmer will be inducted as a coach for the Falcons.

"I couldn't be more proud of these kids," Coach Tim Johnson said. "They played their tails off. We kept telling them to believe-believe-believe. We've been in this situation a couple times this year - the kids kept their composure and did a wonderful job."

"We had to make some adjustments at the half," he continued. "They've (Franklin Co.) not really line up and ran true wing-t football for several games that heavily thankfully our kids stepped up, played hard and got some stops for us. My hats off to Franklin Co. they did a heck of a job as well."

"We're going to enjoy this one tonight and get refocused over the weekend," Coach Johnson added. "Summit is another tough region opponent. But we're excited and I can't say enough about the Falcon support all year long. We had a great crowd over here - Mr. Johnson and the band did such a fantastic job keeping the crowd into it. I was definitely a team win, community win, hopefully we'll have a lot more of those to come."

Against the Rebels the Falcons punted their first possession but set up the first score of the night with a interception by Cade Cooper at the Rebels 31 yard line. Two plays later West Jenkins pushed it in from the one-yard line and Reid Hardin was good on the PAT - LCHS was up 7-0.

But the advantage would be short lived. The Rebels put a string of first downs together and pushed it in from the 1-yard line. The PAT was good and with 1:29 in the first it was knotted at 7-7.

The only score of the second quarter came on a 32 yard field goal by the Rebels. Late in the period LCHS moved to the Rebel's 38 yard line but turned the ball over on downs. The Falcons trailed 10-7 at the intermission.

On the opening kickoff of the second half Lincoln Co. took advantage of the second turnover by Franklin Co. recovering a fumble at the Rebels 32 yard line. Five plays later West Jenkins carried it in from the 15. Reid Hardin was good on the PAT. LCHS was up 14-10. Late in the period the Falcons move to the Rebels 32 yard line but turned the ball over on downs.

In the final frame both teams turned the ball over on downs in their possession. The Falcons lead held up until the final minutes when Franklin Co. scored on a tipped pass in the end-zone from Lincoln County's 24 yard line. The PAT was good and LCHS trailed 17-14 with 1:08 remaining in the game.

But the excitement was far from over. After starting at their on 30 yard line A.J. Alcorn connected with Cade and Rudi Cooper that took the Falcons to the Rebels 8-yard line. After three unsuccessful attempts in the air Reid Hardin came in and was good on a 24-yard field goal in the final second of regulation. It was knotted at 17-17 headed to overtime.

In high school overtime both teams have the opportunity to score in four downs from the 10 yard line. Franklin Co. won the coin toss and chose to go on defense the first possession. Two plays later West Jenkins pushed it in from the 4-yard line. Reid Hardin was good on the PAT - LCHS was up 24-17.

But the Rebels answered their first play from scrimmage - the victor would be decided on the PAT. It was Rudy Cooper who broke through the line to block Franklin County's attempt to tie the game. LCHS finished on top 24-23 and on their way to the playoffs.

Falcons by the numbers

Offense: LCHS finished with 197 total yards of offense with 114 coming on the ground and 83 in the air.

Rushing: West Jenkins, 25 carries for 116 yards and 3 scores; Alec Scivally, 3 for 16; Cade Cooper 2 for -3; Rudi Cooper, 1 for -3; A.J. Alcorn, 2 for -12.

Passing: A.J. Alcorn completed 8 of 16 attempts for 83 yards and no interceptions.

Receiving: Cade Cooper 3 catches for 55 yards; Rudi Cooper, 3 for 20 yards; West Jenkins, 1 for 6 yards; and Tucker Webb, 1 for 2 yards;

Defense: The Falcons gave up 241 yards, 160 coming on the ground and 81 in the air. Sam Eason led with 8 tackles; Tucker Webb, 7; Jason Betz, 5; Rudi Cooper, 5; Chad Garvin, 4.5; Jaxxon Badgett, 4; cade Cooper, 3.5; Landen Smith, 2.5; Colton Ables, 1.5.

1st Downs: Lincoln Co., 12; Franklin Co., 18

Turnovers: Falcons, 0; Rebels, 2

Punts: Jake Sorrells, 2 for 43 yard average - long of 50 yards

PAT's - Field Goals: Reid Hardin, 2 for 2 PAT's; 1 for 1 with 24-yard field goal

Penalties - Yards: LCHS, 7 for 76 yards; Franklin Co., 10 for 65 yards