Football

Rickards outlasts Lincoln in Tallahassee city showdown

PHOTO CREDIT: Kyle Wood/FHSF
Battle of city rivals in Tallahassee doesn't disappoint

TALLAHASSEE, Fla – It came down to an end zone shot on fourth down with time expiring for Lincoln’s Christopher Beard. Trailing 28-21 he rolled out and targeted his go-to man in Kamari Morales with a 35-yard heave downfield, but the Rickards defensive backs were there and the pass was batted down. Ballgame. The Rickards Raiders (4-0) were able to stay undefeated and extended their winning streak over the Lincoln Trojans to three games (1-3).

“Any time you’re playing a city rival like Lincoln it’s gonna be a tough game, the emotions are up,” Rickards head coach Quintin Lewis said. “It came down to the wire again, that’s three of four years in a row, last play of the game we had to fight, had to pull it out, hats go off to them guys.”

A week ago, senior quarterback and Louisville commit Marcus Riley showed out with his legs for five scores on the ground. The narrative tonight was different as he led the Raiders with 369 passing yards on 22 completions to go with three touchdowns.

It appeared Lincoln would force Rickards’ high-powered offense into a three-and-out on their first drive until Riley rolled out on third and long to find Kendrick Kelly for 76 yards to go ahead 7-0 less than two minutes into the contest.

Lincoln responded with a five-minute scoring drive led by sophomore quarterback Christopher Beard and senior running back John Bailey. After Beard was stuffed on the goal line, Bailey found pay dirt on a 1-yard carry to tie the game.

The Raiders answered quickly, 20 seconds later that is. After Destin Coates returned the kickoff to the 25, Riley found Ferante Cowart for another 75-yard score to go ahead 14-7. A series of punts, turnovers on downs and flags would see the two teams head into halftime with the same score.

Halfway through the third quarter, on a gutsy fourth and two calls from the 17-yard line, Beard rolled out to the left, drawing the defense, and threw back across his body to find a wide-open Morales who would knot up the game at 14.

Rickards would score two touchdowns unanswered to go up 28-14, one on a 27-yard pass to Carlos Lyons and another on a 10-yard rush from Coates, his ninth score on the ground this season.

With the clock running out in the fourth Lincoln mounted a serious drive led by Beard and Bailey capped off by a touchdown to Marko Skarica in the back of the end zone with just over three minutes on the clock to bring the Trojans within seven.

Lincoln’s onside kick failed, but the defense held true, forcing a three and out – exactly what the Trojans needed. Raiders’ punter Trevor Wilson muffed the snap but saw an opening and ran for a 45-yard pickup on fourth and long. A penalty on the offense negated the huge gain and Lincoln was forced to punt again, this time Chris Pitts pinned Lincoln inside their own 10.

Beard was able to mount a drive with 1:23 on the clock, but ultimately his fourth-down attempt was incomplete and the Trojans dropped their third game of the young season.

Next up for the Rickards Raiders is a road trip to Georgia to take on the Bainbridge Wildcats (4-1). As for the Lincoln Trojans, they will face rival Chiles (2-2).

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