In the 69th annual Bell Game between Lincoln and Washington high schools, Lincoln had no problems keeping the Victory Bell away from the Richmond district for another year.
The Mustangs raced out to a 27-0 lead as they scored touchdowns on their first two offensive snaps of the game and cruised to a 40-7 win over the rival Eagles.
Lincoln (4-4, 4-1) rushed for a modest 164 yards (below its average of 340 rushing yards per game), but that was due to the Mustangs having great field position throughout.
The defending Turkey Day champions remained a game behind first-place Galileo in the Academic Athletic Association standings. Washington still leads the all-time series against Lincoln by a slim 35-33-1 margin.
“The Bell Game is a great tradition. It's been going strong for 69 years and we like the fact that we get to keep it with us,” Lincoln coach Phil Ferrigno said. “We always talk about starting fast, which we haven't done at times. Today we did.”
On Lincoln's first offensive snap of the game, freshman Akeal Lalaind took a wide receiver reverse 40 yards to the end zone to give Lincoln the early 6-0 edge two minutes and eight seconds into the game.
Later in the first quarter, Lalaind returned a punt 26 yards to the Washington 9-yard line to set up a touchdown from running back Davion Telfor, who came into the game with 1,071 yards rushing, on Lincoln's second offensive play from scrimmage. Telfor's TD gave Lincoln a 13-0 lead.
Telfor, who rushed for a game-high 93 yards on 14 carries, now has 1,164 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on the season.
“[Davion] ran great again today,” Ferrigno said. “He's a tough kid, and he continues to play hard.”
In what has been a long season for Washington (2-6, 1-4), the Eagles struggled to generate any offense, amassing only 211 yards. Washington's lone highlight came when senior running back Ricky Johnson returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Johnson also added 70 rushing yards on 17 carries.
During the Eagles' three-game losing streak, they've given up an average of 47 points per game. They're in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
First-year Washington coach Peter Graham, wasn't too discouraged with his team's effort. If anything, he's looking forward to correcting his own mistakes, as well as a full offseason with the program.
“The game didn't start out the way we wanted, and they jumped out to a big lead and basically took us out of the ball game,” Graham said. “I've made some significant mistakes as a first-year head coach, and that's discipline. That's gotten away from us a bit, and it's one of the biggest things we'll have to correct this offseason.”