by Craig Dunn
Lincoln and Ocala Forest met Friday evening to determine the Florida Class 7A Region 1 District 1 Champion. To be honest, it was not supposed to be much of a contest. Lincoln is coming off of a 2010 4A State Championship (FHSAA redistricted following the 2010-2011 school year), and the Trojans had only dropped one game all year, a 3-point defeat to Georgia powerhouse Valdosta, the first game of the season. But Forest had other ideas.
The Wildcats drove the length of the field on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead over Lincoln. To paraphrase an old saying, that drive may have “awakened the sleeping giant.” Lincoln countered on their next possession with a touchdown of their own. Forest did not go away easy in the first half, and looked to have Lincoln on their heels late in the second quarter. The Wildcats were five yards away from going to the half only trailing by 3 when a batted ball and interception propelled Lincoln to a field goal as time expired in the first half, making the score 20-7.
Lincoln’s coach, Yusuf Shakir, must have had a spirited talk with his team at half, because the second half belonged to Lincoln. By the end of the third quarter, Lincoln had extended its lead to 41-7 ending all doubt about whether an upset could be in the making.
Forest added two scores in the fourth quarter to make the final 41-21.
Lincoln was paced by Great American Rivalry Series MVP # 22 Derrington Abnar.
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- Lincoln vs. Forest – 2011