The Lincoln University football team has improved each game under new head coach Frank Turner and now has the wins to show for it.
Isaiah Freeman threw three touchdown passes, and sophomore cornerback Ronald Thomas III’s interception in the final minute sealed a 27-21 Lion win over Elizabeth City State, boosting LUPA’s record to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in CIAA play.
The four wins are the most in a single season since Lincoln restarted football after a 48-year absence in 2008.
Elizabeth City State (1-6 overall, 1-5 CIAA) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter without throwing a pass. The Vikings ran for 140 yards in the period, capped by two one-yard quarterback sneak touchdowns from junior Donoven Davenport.
Lincoln responded 90 seconds into the second quarter thanks to an 8-yard touchdown run by receiver Malachi Langley. On ECSU’s next possession, Quinzel Lockhart fumbled an end-around run, and Rodney Stubbs fell on the ball for LU at the Viking 25. Five plays later, quarterback Isaiah Freeman found Dah’Mear Triplett open in the end zone for a 12-yard score. After ECSU’s blocked PAT was called back for an offsides penalty, Freeman flicked a two-point conversion pass to Amir Gerald for a 15-14 lead.
Freeman and Triplett connected again to make the score 21-14 Lincoln at the half, but Elizabeth City State responded with another scoring drive, this time through the air. Davenport and Lockhart converted a 2nd and 30 into a 55-yard pass and run, then linked up again on a 20-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 21.
Freeman threw another touchdown pass, this one from 24 yards out to Eli Riddick, but the two-point attempt failed, giving the Lions a 27-21 lead heading into the fourth.
ECSU’s final chance came when Lincoln punter Andre Jandayan shanked a punt that gave the Vikings a short field.
After two fumbled snaps that Davenport was lucky to recover, the third time wasn’t the charm as a wobbly pass was intercepted by Thomas and returned deep into ECSU territory to seal the win for the Lions.