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MTZ football wins in Lincoln 27-22

Gavin McInerney (48) draws a read on the offense in a 27-22 win against Lincoln at Lincoln High School.

Staff Writer

In a game with clock errors, play-clock errors and penalties that brought back two touchdowns, the Mt. Zion Braves defeated the Lincoln Railers 27-22 in Apollo Conference football action. Matthias Adams recorded two rushing touchdowns and Christina Keyhea added two receiving touchdowns.

The Braves punted the ball and contained the Railers offense. The Railers found a way to advance the ball up the field. Elijah Pollice threw a screen-pass to Ki’on Carson who ran the ball to the one-yard line. Carson ran the ball in for a one-yard touchdown to narrow the Braves lead 27-22.

“24 (Carson) is a good player and he made some plays,” Mt. Zion head coach Coach Etherton said. He caught a screen pass that caught us. We’re going to evaluate the film, but at the end of the day we’re still 4-1 and that’s what matters.

On the next drive, Keyhea received a direct-snap that he ran for what could’ve been a 65-yard touchdown. The play was called back due to a holding penalty and the Railers tried to seize the momentum after a Braves’ punt.

The Braves shutdown the Railers offense on their final drive. The Braves’ defense forced four straight incompletions and Chiron Petty made a game-saving deflection to force a turnover on downs.

“We made enough plays down the end to win the game,” Coach Etherton said. I thought our kids battled through some adversity and some unusual circumstances. The play clock goes out on their last drive, the game clock gets an extra minute added and just it was all kinds of stuff. Our kids just kept playing and we found a way to get off the field on fourth down and stop them. We found a way to win.”

Those plays defensively included three interceptions and two turnover on downs. Offensively, the Braves struck through the first three quarters.

Adams broke the scoring open for the Braves when he rushed in a 14-yard touchdown late in the first quarter to give the Braves a 6-0 lead.

In the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Tyson Evans connected with Keyhea for two different touchdown passes. The first came off a find that Keyes grabbed one-handed and ran in for a 92-yard receiving touchdown. Later in the quarter, Evans found Keyhea again for a four-yard passing touchdown and with a two-point conversion extended the lead to 20-8.

In the third quarter, the Braves turned to Adams to tear up turf. Adams carried the ball and moved the chains and then found a way to break open again. This time it was for a 23-yard rushing touchdown to give the Braves a 27-8 lead.

Adams finished the game with 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Keyhea finished the game with 70 rushing yards, 111 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. Evans finished the game with 146 passing yards and two passing touchdowns.

The Lincoln Railers fall to 2-3 on the season. Their next game is at home against Mattoon on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Mt. Zion Braves improve to 4-1 on the season. Their next game is on Friday against Effingham at 7 p.m. The game is also senior night.

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