Gainesville Bows Out in First Round to Lincoln

Story by Nick Rubino and Kyle Lander

The Gainesville Hurricanes (8-3) fell on Friday night to the Lincoln Trojans (9-2) in the first round of the 6A playoffs by a score of 34-7.

Scoring Comes at a Premium in the First Half

Both teams in the first half seemed to struggle to move the ball consistently. Outside of the first drive for Lincoln, in which they scored a touchdown, neither team could find their way across the goal line.

In the first quarter, both defenses were able to fashion turnovers for their offensives.

On the first drive of the game, Lincoln intercepted Gainesville on a poorly thrown ball behind the receiver.

The Trojans would quickly capitalize on this turnover. The score came through the air on a 27-yard pass to the wide-open Trojans receiver streaking down the right sideline. This gave the Trojgan the early lead 7-0 with 8:25 left in the first. This would be the only touchdown of the first half.

After this touchdown, Lincoln surprised Gainesville with a successful onside kick. They moved the ball deep into Hurricanes territory, but Gainesville defensive back Dyoni Hill made a great read on the ball, jumping the route and intercepting the pass. He returned the ball to the Gainesville 40-yard line.

Despite turning the momentum, Gainesville squandered a great opportunity to even the score. They eventually punted the ball on this drive, which was a common theme in this game.

The Trojans would go three and out and punt the ball back to Gainesville. Shortly after, the Hurricanes shot themselves in the foot again. After what seemed to be a promising drive, Gainesville bobbled a handoff that fell right into the hands of a Lincoln defensive lineman.

After this miscue by the Hurricanes, the Trojans were able to add to their lead. Ending the ensuing drive in a field goal, which led to a 10-0 lead over Gainesville.

The Trojans’ offense wasn’t done as they legged in one more field goal to finish off the half. This score would push their lead to 13-0 over the Hurricanes.

Offensive Woes Continue for Gainesville

Coming out of the locker room, Hurricane fans were hoping for a quick turnaround for their team. However, this did not happen for Gainesville.

The Trojans would receive the ball coming out of halftime and wasted little time scoring. On their first possession, the Trojan offense took less than four minutes to score. After marching their way down the field, they eventually punched the ball in the end zone from a quarterback-designed run. This moved the lead to 20-0 over the Hurricanes.

Gainesville could not get anything going in the first half and nothing changed in the second. Any time they would begin to move the ball, a yellow flag instantly would fly on the field. This really hurt any momentum they managed to scrounge up. This led to many punts from the offense in the second half as they never seemed to get in rhythm.

As time went on, the Hurricanes defense continuously found themselves on the field. As a result, they started to fade and it showed through miscommunication in the secondary and linebackers.

Late in the third quarter, Lincoln would find the end zone yet again with a 48-yard touchdown pass. Moving the score to 27-0.

In what looked to be the final quarter of the Hurricane’s season, they would avoid being shut out. Nearing the halfway mark of the fourth quarter, wide receiver Brent King finally put Gainesville on the board.

With only a minute left to go, Lincoln went home in style. Scoring on a 50-yard touchdown run to close out the night, giving Lincoln the 34-7 win.

Head Coach Dock Pollard gave his thoughts on the game and what went wrong on the offensive side of the ball.

Coach Pollard also talked about his team’s success this season and what it means for the future of the program.

About Nicholas Rubino

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