The Johnston football team was run over by visiting Lincoln in the season opener last week, as the Lions surged in the second half to grab the 30-7 win.
Johnston trailed just 8-0 at halftime, but would lose control early in the third quarter and fall behind. The Panthers failed to recover the opening kickoff in the third quarter and the Lions gained possession at the Johnston 22-yard line to set up a score moments later to make it 15-0. Lincoln would score again on its next offensive drive to extend the lead to 22-0.
Johnston’s offense would finally break through and march downfield, capping off a long drive when Matt Clements connected with Michael Carlino for a score to make it 22-7.
Johnston would recover the ensuing onside kick and seemed poised to make a run at a comeback. The Panthers would once again stumble, though, as a shotgun snap was sailed over Clements’ head back into Johnston territory which would kill the drive.
“I thought (recovering the onside kick) was going to be the turning point right there. We score to make it 22-7, then we get the ball back. At that point we thought, ‘OK now it’s our turn to make a run, we are in this,’ but then more mistakes,” said Johnston head coach Joe Acciardo after the loss.
It was all Lincoln in the fourth quarter as the Lions added another insurance score to finish the 30-7 win.
“We just made too many mistakes. What is frustrating is that we have been making all of those same mistakes at practice. We got served some humble pie tonight, we saw these mistakes coming but thought we could just play through them. Lincoln took advantage of every mistake that we made,” said Acciardo. “These issues are easy to fix, but we have to work harder at practice. Just because we are making plays in practice doesn’t mean we can just make those same plays in the game. We have a long way to go.”
The Panthers fell to 0-1 on the season but will be playing its league opener this Friday night when they take on Rogers at home.