Lincoln’s head coach Shawn O’Connor picked up the 100th win of his career on a night when his Railsplitters knocked off the previously undefeated Clinton Governors behind three touchdowns from Luis Rodriguez and a big game from backup quarterback Roget O’Neil in Coney Island on Friday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Railsplitters poured it on early with 14 points in the first quarter, on a three-yard run by Rodriguez and a five-yard run by Kevin Medy, and kept it going throughout the entire game even after quarterback Paul Litvak had to leave the game with a shoulder injury forcing O’Neil to take over.
O’NEIL TAKES OVER: O’Neil is more known for his legs as a quarterback, but he aired out a 42-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Hannah in the second quarter to put Lincoln up 21-0. He threw another touchdown pass to Rodriguez, a 13-yard pass, midway through the fourth quarter to go up 28-0. Rodriguez added one more touchdown with 3:11 left in the game as Lincoln topped off its dominating win.
TURNING POINT: The play that changed the entire game happened early. After Lincoln scored to go up 7-0, the Governors immediately threatened after running back Chauncey Murray got to the 28 on a 33-yard run. However, quarterback Brandon Harris fumbled a bad snap and it was recovered by Lincoln’s Elijah Guadeloupe.
Following the turnover, the Railsplitters quickly scored thanks to a 59-yard pass from Litvak to Hannah that setup Medy’s touchdown. From that point on Clinton were mere spectators.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: There are a few good options here. The most obvious could be Luis Rodriguez, who had three touchdowns, or Jordan Hannah, who had 101 yards and a touchdown on two huge catches, but this one goes to Roget O’Neil.
O’Neil came in to replace Litvak and the Railsplitters didn’t miss a beat. He used his speed to perfection and also showed off a pretty decent arm. He finished with two touchdown passes and after the game O’Connor removed his stripe, a Lincoln tradition for players that have officially earned their spot on the varsity roster.
100th WIN: Coach Shawn O’Connor picked up his 100th career win. He started as the head coach at Lincoln in 2000 when the team posted a 9-2 record. He went undefeated during the regular season in 2003, but lost in the playoffs. His first championship with the Railsplitters in 2011 and he has gone 53-5 since 2010.
UP NEXT: The Railsplitters have two games left. They head to Bensonhurst next week where they will take on New Utrecht and then are home again in two weeks when they host Fort Hamilton in their final game before the playoffs.