Lincoln Makes School History

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
‘And David put his hand in his bag and took thence a stone and slang it.’ 1 Samuel 17:49 
It was nine years ago that they started the football program at Lincoln high school. They suffered through some tough times, but survived and here they are, one step away from the ultimate prize. 
Lincoln defeated Mid - Buchanan 14-13 in an epic struggle on the road Saturday to earn the right to play the number one ranked team in the state in Hayti, who destroyed Western 54-0 in the other final four matchup. 
Ranked no higher than seventh all season, the Lincoln Cardinals only loss was on the road to Prairie View 26-7 on September 9. That was without Jackson Beaman at QB.
Mid-Buchanan would  score first in this one when Quarterback Javon Noyes would scramble to the left side from three yards out and with the kick from Lane Starks, it was 7-0 at the 2:56 mark. It was a strange game in that both sides were guilty of false starts after 13 games into the season. 
The Cardinals would take advantage of a pass interference call to tie the game. Jackson Beaman would fake a handoff and hit Bo Kroenke for the score from 20 yards out on a cross pattern with four seconds left and Devon Parrott would make the PAT and it was 7-7 after one.
After a rough second quarter that saw both teams defenses come up with goal line stands and fourth down stands, they went into halftime knotted up at 7-7.
With 2:45 left in the third, Beaman, after rambling for a couple of first downs would find Nate Hesse from 28 yards out down the left side line that took the ball to the five. From there, Beaman, on a couple of tries would pound the ball in for the score. Parrott was perfect on what would end up being the winning point of the game. It was 14-7 and things would heat up in the fourth. 
Tanner Bays would be ejected from the game for a personal foul. Both teams linemen had been trash talking each other throughout the stretch drive.
With a fourth and ten with 55 seconds left, Noyes would hit Caleb Kirschner with a 20 yard pass in the right hand corner for the TD. Then, the Mid-Buchanan coaching staff would make the decision to go for two instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game and send it into overtime. Bo Kroenke would make the catch of his life for an interception on a jump pass to save the game. Lincoln would secure the on-side kick and take a knee for the win.
Beaman was 29-140 rushing and 10-18 passing for 134 yards. Parker Engles had 14 tackles while Hesse and Levi Betts and ten each. Kroenke was 4-43 receiving, Landon Bond was 1-30 and Engles 2-20.
So on Saturday on December 1 at 3:00 at Faurot Field in Columbia MO., the Lincoln Cardinals will play for the state championship. The Cardinals will enter the game as huge underdogs but they have been underdogs all season. They are healthy, they are fired up and they believe in themselves.
Head Coach Keith LaFavor commented, “Our kids came out with just the right amount of confidence. We thrive in situations where we are considered the underdogs. We do not let those predictions intimidate us in any way. We felt we were the better team and we persevered when times got tough like we have all year. Our local community supports us in Lincoln and it feels really nice to get “congratulations” and “good lucks” from our fellow Kaysinger conference. We feel like we are playing for our community and our conference and they are what motivates us. People talk about our strength of schedule but we have had battles all season with close games and even an overtime game against Windsor, yet we are still here in the State Championship. I don’t think people give our opponents enough credit that they deserve as well. Any of the teams we played could have been here. We know we are the underdogs Saturday and we welcome that. You will see the best us this week and we are playing for everyone that lines the streets of Lincoln when we left and got home from Mid Buchanan. It was an amazing feeling and sight for all of our kids knowing that we have that support. This ride has been a memory we will never forget. Come out and watch us this Saturday and know we are playing for every one of our opponents we have had this year as well. Its been an honor and a privilege to get the opportunity to coach these young men. We would like to thank all of our supporters and our community for everything they have done for us.” We wish them our best.