Friday’s Class 1, District 4 championship game between the Lincoln Cardinals and Skyline Tigers ended 58-28 in favor of the home team, Lincoln.
Teams scored a combined 72 points in the first quarter in the electric matchup. With the victory, the Cardinals avenge a 42-6 loss to Skyline in last season’s district final.
Skyline running back Shawn Bryan returned the first kickoff of the game 80 yards, followed by a successful conversion to put the the Tigers ahead 8-0 in the opening seconds of Friday’s bout.
Lincoln answered with a long pass down field to Mason Sanders, followed by a 30-yard Boone Kroenke rushing tochdown to make the score 8-6.
Boone Kroenke had 201 yards and three touchdowns in 16 carries, and passed for 175 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensive end Caleb Smith ran the ball in for Lincoln after scooping up a fumble, just two plays into the Tigers second drive.
Lincoln head coach said the defensive score evened out the opening kickoff’s score.
“We kind of traded them with the fumble return,” Morrison said. “They got the kick return on us, but we came back with the big recovery so we felt like that kind of squared us away there.”
The Tigers capitalized off a Lincoln fumble recovery at the end of the first quarter, and tied the game at 28 in the second.
Lincoln pulled away from the tie after Dominic Simmons concluded the first half with an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Simmons finished with 50 yards on seven carries.
Morrison said he was proud of the Cardinals for overcoming Skyline’s blows, and shutting out the Tigers in the second half.
“They buckled down,” Morrison said. “Especially the second half. We gave up zero points, and that was huge for us. I’m just proud of everybody. They all played great tonight.”
After clinching the district title, the Lincoln Cardinals (12-0) will continue their undefeated, post-season run 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 against Midway.