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West Lincoln edges Loyd Star

DAILY LEADER / TERESA ALLRED / West Lincoln's football players celebrate in a group huddle after defeating the Hornets Friday night to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.

DAILY LEADER / TERESA ALLRED / West Lincoln’s football players celebrate in a group huddle after defeating the Hornets Friday night to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.

Loyd Star was looking for a guaranteed homecoming victory and playoff berth when they scheduled the West Lincoln Bears as their final home game and final division game. West Lincoln in their second year in Division 7 2A spoiled the homecoming victory and playoff chances with a 28-26 victory over the Hornets.

Hornet and Bear fans packed the stands and lined the sidelines to watch the final division game of the season with the winner advancing to playoffs. West Lincoln arrived with the goal of making school history.

“I’m extremely proud of our kids for making it to the playoffs for the first time in school history,” Coach Willie Brumfield said. “All those 6 a.m. summer workouts now seem to be worth the effort. Our kids have had an extremely emotional week and I really didn’t know how they would respond. Well let me say that this bunch of young men continues to amaze me, and I feel extremely blessed to be called to coach this team. Making the playoffs is huge for our school and program. This is a first for these kids, and they deserve it. I want to thank everyone that came out and cheered on the team for helping us to wrap it in green and white. Great day to be a Bear.”

After a week of celebrating homecoming activities the Hornets came out prepared to dominate the ballgame. Loyd Star kicked off to the Bears and allowed West Lincoln to start on the Loyd Star 35-yard line due to a penalty for the ball being kicked out of bounds. On West Lincoln’s first offensive play, Ty Forman handed off to Kodie Carroll for a 26-yard gain that put the Bears in their own territory at the 39-yard line. West Lincoln continued to run Carroll on the next three downs, but he was met by Loyd Star’s linebacker Peyton Flowers for short yardage. The Bears went for a fourth and three on the 32-yard line, but was picked off by Ray Richardson. He returned back to the original line of scrimmage.

DAILY LEADER / AMY RHOADS / Loyd Star's senior runningback Brett Calcote (14) stretches for a big gain before being brought down by a West Lincoln defender Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / AMY RHOADS / Loyd Star’s senior runningback Brett Calcote (14) stretches for a big gain before being brought down by a West Lincoln defender Friday night.

Loyd Star’s offense started under the direction of Parker Flowers on two handoffs to Brett Calcote, who picked up two first downs on a 10 and 14-yard runs. The Hornets suffer a penalty and face a first and 20. Loyd Star stayed with the running game, and two runs by Zac Arnold for 30 yards gave them a first down on West Lincoln’s 24-yard line. Calcote took the Hornets to the red zone on a 4-yard carry. With 7:12 remaining in the first quarter Peyton Flowers scored the first touchdown on a 20-yard run. The Bears defended and stopped the two-point conversion attempt by the Hornets.

Loyd Star’s defense stopped the Bears on their next possession forcing West Lincoln to punt. A bad high snap by the Bears led to a turnover on the 10-yard line of West Lincoln, and the Hornets started with a first and goal. The Hornets connected with Richardson for a touchdown but missed the PAT. They went up 0-12 with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter.

West Lincoln fumbled early in the second quarter, and Loyd Star recovered. The Hornets continued to dominate in the second quarter and worked on the Bears defense for over six minutes before Parker Flowers connected with Richardson again, followed by a successful PAT by Dylan Smith. The Hornets were up 0-19 with 6:10 remaining in the second quarter.

West Lincoln’s offense continued to try to find the end zone with the running game. The Bears managed to get into the red zone on three penalties by Loyd Star for 35 yards. Forman connected on an 18-yard pass to Jayden Rushing to put the Bears on the scoreboard 6-19 with 3:49 left until halftime. West Lincoln failed to add on the two-point conversion. The second quarter saw both teams suffering fumbles at the 1:46 mark by Loyd Star followed by West Lincoln at 1:05. Neither team was able to capitalize on the fumbles, and the halftime score was Loyd Star 19-West Lincoln 6.

The Bears’ defense started the second half with a big fourth down defensive stop on Loyd Star’s first offensive possession. West Lincoln started a drive on their own 45-yard line. Carroll ran 14 yards on a third down play to get a big first down and keep the drive alive. Ty Forman hit Bryce Temple with a 30-yard pass to put the Bears in scoring position. After several plays Ty Forman found Gabe Nations in the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown pass. With a two point conversion run by Forman, West Lincoln brought the score up to 14-19.

The Bears’ kickoff went out of bounds giving Loyd Star good field position at their own 35-yard line. Loyd Star took command of the running game making two consecutive first down runs crossing over into West Lincoln territory. They finished their drive off with a 25-yard run by Zac Arnold for a touchdown and a field goal by Hayden Brownlee. The score was up to West Lincoln-14 and Loyd Star-26 with 1:56 left in the third quarter.

The Bears’ defense stood strong in the fourth quarter and held the Hornets scoreless. West Lincoln closed the point advantage to four points on a 16-yard pass between Forman and Rushing and a two-point conversion by Rushing. After this score by the Bears, the game was paused at 10:18 remaining in the fourth quarter as an ambulance from KDMC entered the field to transport Senior Peyton Flowers to the hospital. Flowers took himself out of the game on his own during the fourth quarter feeling ill. He was attended to on the sideline by numerous medical professionals prior to be being transported. Flowers was later transported to UMMC.

After play resumed, the Bears collected a touchdown on a 9-yard run by Carroll to take the lead 28-26. The Hornets’ attempt to get into the end zone failed on a fourth-down attempt, and the Bears were able to seal the victory taking a knee as time expired.

Coach Willie Brumfield commented on Flowers, “First of all, the entire West Lincoln family sends our thoughts and prayers to Peyton Flowers and his family.”

The Bears’ offense collected 264 total yards. Ty Forman completed 5 of 11 passes for 108 yards. Jayden Rushing had two receptions for 34 yards including two touchdowns. Bryce Temple had one catch for 30 yards. Gabe Nation had a catch for 24 yards and Chase Owen for 20 yards. Kodie Carroll led the ground attack with 21 carries for 78 yards.

Gabe Nations led the defensive efforts of West Lincoln with 10 tackles including seven solo and three assists. Lofton Sills had nine tackles with five solo and four assists. Jade Use had six solo tackles. Chase Owen collected six solo tackles and two fumble recoveries. Jayden Rushing also had a fumble recovery for the Bears.

Loyd Star had 305 total yards. Parker Flowers completed six of 13 passes for 51 yards. Richardson had three receptions for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Brett Calcote had one catch for 13 yards. Shay Hodges had a reception for 10 yards. The Hornets collected 254 rushing yards led by Brett Calcote’s 16 carries for 87 yards. Zac Arnold had nine carries for 86 yards and one touchdown, and Peyton Flowers had three rushes for 34 yards and one touchdown.

The Hornets’ defensive leader was Peyton Flowers with nine solo tackles and one assist. Parker Flowers and Cole Smith each had four solo tackles and one assist.

West Lincoln (5-6, 2-3) will travel Friday night for the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs to visit the Lake Hornets.