Lincoln tops Central to earn IL title
By Toriano Porter PrepsKC Staff Writer
Lincoln Prep tops Kansas City Central to claim consecutive IL championships
Jabari Hopson is one-half of a running back tandem that powers Lincoln Prep’s Wing-t offense.
Listed as a fullback, Hopson teams with fellow senior and running back Corlandus Rucker to form the Blue Tigers’ potent 1-2 ground and pound attack.
So with Rucker on the sideline for most of the game after a first quarter injury, Hopson stood tall, not only rushing for a touchdown but blocking two punts in Lincoln Prep’s 44-12 win Thursday over Interscholastic League foe Kansas City Central at IL Stadium.
In a game televised by Time Warner Cable Sports Channel, the Blue Tigers, 6-3 overall and 4-0 in league play, claimed their second IL championship in as many seasons.
The victory also marked the coming out party for junior wing back Kaylyn Davis, who scored four touchdowns in Rucker’s stead.
“It was the kind of game we needed going into districts,” said Lincoln Prep head coach Henry Newell. “Our goal is to advance in districts as far as we can. That means we have to win next Friday night.”
For Central first-year head coach Mark Faubion, the game showed just how far the Blue Eagles need to go to reach the level of a conference champion. The Blue Eagles, 3-6 overall on the season, finished 3-1 in IL play.
“Being young, we need to figure out how to show up in a big game,” Faubion said. “That’s really what it is. Those guys (Lincoln Prep) have been here before.”
Also picking up the slack for Lincoln Prep was sophomore running back Travis Martin, who had a couple of long gains on running plays. Martin and Davis proved to be adequate replacements for Rucker, the team’s unquestioned leader alongside Hopson.
“Give it up for the lower classmen for stepping up this game,” Hopson said of Davis and Martin. “We needed them. They held it down for us and showed some leadership out there.”
Lincoln Prep jumped on the scoreboard first, finding the endzone on their opening possession. The Blue Tigers then was awarded a safety after one of Hopson’s blocked punts went out of the endzone for a 9-0 lead four minutes into the game.
A touchdown by Davis made the score 15-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Davis scored again early in the second quarter and a successful two-point conversion stretched the lead to 23-0. Davis added another rushing touchdown to help stretched the lead to 30-0.
Davs had only four rushing touchdowns heading into the game but doubled his season’s output with his fourth rushing score of the first half.
The four-yard run pushed Lincoln Prep’s lead to 37-0 with less than a minute left before halftime.
The lead was extended to 44-0 late in the third quarter with the help of a 12-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Harris Frazier to junior split end Duane Clayton.
The strike was the Blue Tigers’ first passing touchdown of the season.
“I felt like I could fill in where (Rucker) left off,” said Davis, who also notched his fourth interception of the season in the win.
After a brief on-field celebration and the presentation of the IL championship trophy and the first Push For Excellence annual trophy awarded to the winner of Central and Lincoln Prep, Newell, as he has all season, said the Blue Tigers want more than a league championship as district playoffs get underway.
“Our goal is to advance in districts as far as we can,” Newell said. “That means we have to win next Friday night.”
On the other sideline, Faubion and his squad look to regroup as they prepare for playoff action. Quarterback Michael Harris’ 49-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and 10-yard sprint in the fourth were the Blue Eagles’ only scores of the game.
“We’ll have our work cut out for us” Faubion said. “But, if we believe in ourselves we might have a chance to do the things we should be able to do. We can be in it. If the good team shows up that I know we have, we’ll be in it.”
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