LINCOLN — Lincoln’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 15 points all season and it continued Friday as the Cardinals completed a perfect 9-0 regular season with a 32-6 win against Cole Camp.
“They did a lot better job at staying and maintaining gaps and playing hard-nosed football,” said Lincoln coach Danny Morrison.
The win for the Cardinals also gives them the Kaysinger conference title.
Cole Camp was able to contain Lincoln’s running game for the most part in the first half, but Heath Renno became a bulldozer in the second half as he scored Lincoln’s only two touchdowns in the half.
On Lincoln’s second drive of the second half, Renno had bruising runs of 24 and 13 yards and he finished it off with a 19-yard touchdown run.
Renno finished with 175 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns.
“That’s what we expect form him and it was nice to get to see him do that,” Morrison said.
The two-point conversion gave Lincoln a 24-6 lead with 10:03 remaining.
Cole Camp got its only score of the game on the previous drive, marching down the field 80 yards after stopping Lincoln on downs.
The drive took nearly eight minutes off the clock and Kendrick Logan ran it in from five yards out for the score, barely making it across the goal line on a dive.
Cole Camp turned the ball over on downs after Renno’s score and Renno ended up with a 21-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive. Lincoln converted its fourth two-point try to go up 32-6.
On Cole Camp’s ensuing drive, Blake Roberts intercepted a deep pass and returned it to about the Cole Camp 20-yard line.
Tempers flared after the play as six flags and two of the officials’ hats were on the turf.
“You hate to see that happen, but we’ll take care of it and get ready next week,” Morrison said.
“Very disappointed,” said Cole Camp coach Kevin Shearer. “We were hard on our kids about Bluebird pride, blue pride and we lost that in that exchange. … We lost emotional control because we’re probably disappointed and that’s not OK.”
It took about seven minutes for the officials to sort it out and Lincoln ran out the remaining 2:41 on the clock.
Toward the end of the first half, Lincoln got the ball at the Cole Camp 36 after Boone Kroenke recovered a muffed punt.
The Cardinals got a pass interference call on a third-and-8 to get down to the 18.
After a five-yard penalty, Boone Kroenke found space on the right side and dove into the end zone for the score.
Kroenke ran for 90 yards rushing on 11 carries.
A completion to a wide open Derek Stephens on the two-point conversion put Lincoln up 16-0 late in the first half.
Renno scored the first touchdown on the game form 40 yards out in the first quarter.
Cole Camp’s defense held up pretty well in the first half, forcing Lincoln to punt twice and turn it over on downs once.
Lincoln finishes the regular season in second of its district behind Skyline, which gets a bye next week. Lincoln will host Appleton City.
“We’re ready for districts,” Morrison said. “We’ll let the boys enjoy it this weekend and get ready for next week.”
Cole Camp is the six-seed in its district with a 6-3 record and will play at South Callaway next week. South Callaway finished runner-up in state last season.
“It’s going to be rough,” Shearer said. “… It’s been one of those years of adversity. We’ll put together a good product on the field for districts, but we’re definitely behind the eight ball a little bit.”
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.