September 2, 2008
Lincoln’s Defense Fuels First
Victory in 48 Years
UNIVERSITY, PA ~ WEST
GROVE, PA. (August 30, 2008) – The Lincoln University
of Pennsylvania football team’s 34-7 victory over George
Mason Saturday afternoon at Avon Grove High School was certainly
worth the 48-year wait.
The Lions, playing their first football game since 1960, scored 34 unanswered
points, suffocated George Mason’s offense and treated the sellout crowd
of 2,511 to buffet of big plays on a humid afternoon.
“What we saw on the field, represented a whole lot of hard work by a group
of men coming together,” Lincoln president Dr. Ivory V. Nelson said. “The
thing that struck everybody in the stands was how disciplined the team was and
how they performed. You couldn’t ask for a better performance from your
student-athletes, coaches, and everybody who put this together. We are elated
and we feel great.”
Lincoln’s offense did more than enough to be included in the highlights,
but the story of this game was the Lions defense.
Lincoln limited George Mason’s offense to 63 yards. The Patriots finished
with negative seven rushing yards on 29 attempts. Lincoln forced three turnovers,
collected three sacks and allowed the Patriots to convert 2 of 18 on third downs.
George Mason did not record a first down on 10 of its 18 possessions. Lincoln
had 11 tackles for losses.
In fact, the Patriots did not record their initial first down until the third
play of the second quarter – a 15-minute period in which the Patriots finished
with negative 15 yards of total offense.
“We didn’t know what to expect from George Mason coming into the
game because we didn’t have any film on them,” Lincoln coach O.J.
Abanishe said. “My biggest concern was making adjustments of making adjustments
from quarter to quarter. Defensively, we played well throughout the game. They
had constant pressure on their quarterback.”
George Mason’s only points came courtesy of a 15-yard interception return
by Akeem Smith on Lincoln’s third snap from scrimmage, two minutes, 11
seconds into the game.
The game belonged to the Lions from there.
Lincoln answered the Patriots opening score with a 10-play, 49-yard scoring drive
capped by a 1-yard quarterback sneak by junior physical education major Kareem
Dennis (Philadelphia, PA/Abraham Lincoln) at 1:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight
Time, Lincoln’s first points since a 34-13 loss to Howard in 1960.
Lincoln really took control in the second quarter when it scored 21 points to
open a 27-7 halftime cushion. Fittingly, Lincoln’s defense combined for
the play to change the game. Trailing, 7-6 Lincoln sophomore business administration
major DeJurnes McCall-Prince (Dale City, VA/C.D. Hylton) sacked
GMU quarterback Phillip Adams and forced a fumble. While McCall-Prince celebrated,
his alert teammate Aaron Coleman (Pittsburgh, PA/McKeesport) scooped
up the loose ball and raced 36 yards for the go-ahead score with 10:36 remaining
in the second quarter.
Touchdown catches by sophomore wide receiver Shawn Bethea (Piscataway,
NJ/Piscataway) and senior wide receiver Steve Rudd (Philadelphia,
PA/Southern), respectively finished the first half scoring. Bethea’s
5-yard scoring catch capped an eight play, 72-yard drive. Rudd’s 14-yard
scoring catch finished a seven play, 74-yard drive with 35 seconds remaining
in the second half. Bethea and Rudd are Health Science majors.
Overall, five Lincoln players finished with at least five tackles: sophomore
environmental science major Brandon McElwee (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester),
Coleman, sophomore health science major Chris Richards (Philadelphia,
PA/Penn Wood), freshman business major Bruce-Lee Sterile (Miami,
FL/Miami Beach Senior), junior defensive tackle Max Holiday
(Lincoln University, PA/Oxford). Sophomore defensive back and business
administration major Elijah Gormes (Arlington, VA/Wakefield) and
Sterile each intercepted a pass on defense.
Offensively, the Lions rolled up 418 yards (230 rushing, 188 passing). Dennis
threw a pair of touchdown passes. Freshman criminal justice major Dwight
Williams (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) finished the scoring with a
25-yard scoring jaunt in which he went untouched up the middle of the field with
2:08 remaining in the game.
Williams led Lincoln in rushing with 69 yards on 12 carries. Junior wide receiver Trey
Thomas (Canton, GA/Woodstock) led the Lions with eight catches for 72
yards. Overall, Lincoln’s big play offense had 18 or more plays go for
at least 10 yards. Lincoln’s offensive line did not allow a sack.
George Mason’s leaders were junior linebacker Mark Kratzer, who finished
with a game-high 10 tackles. Sophomore wide receiver Randy Bronte-Tinkew finished
with 34 yards on four catches.
Lincoln returns to action Saturday evening when it travels to Southern Virginia
for a 6:00 p.m. start. The game can be heard on BrandywineRadio.com with Ryan
Messick calling all of the play by play from Buena Vista, Va.
her for more information on the return of Lincoln University
Founded in 1854, Lincoln
University is a premier, historically Black University that
combines the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based
undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs
to meet the needs of those living in a highly technological
and global society. The University is nationally
recognized as a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate
degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry and physics);
computer and informational sciences; biological and life sciences. Lincoln
has an enrollment of 2,423 undergraduate and graduate students.
University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
1570 Baltimore Pike, P.O. Box 179, Lincoln University, PA 19352 \