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September 2, 2008


Lincoln’s Defense Fuels First Victory in 48 Years

LINCOLN 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.

Click her for more information on the return of Lincoln University football.

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.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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