Like most playoff-bound teams, Lincoln High will have to wait until Saturday to know its fate in the football playoffs that start next weekend.
The Hornets can hope for a home game and, with a little luck, maybe even a bye in Division II, however, after stunning No. 9 Madison 24-14 Friday night at Vic Player Stadium after discovering a long-lost running game.
Senior Carlito Noftaft gained a personal-best 147 yards on 17 carries and scored twice in the third quarter as Lincoln (6-4, 1-3) rallied from a 14-10 halftime deficit to win the Western League showdown.
It came just one week after the Hornets were forced to forfeit their game against Cathedral Catholic when only 19 players were healthy.
“That’s a record for me,” said Noftaft, who scored on runs of 7 and 30 yards. “My previous best was 101 yards against (Los Angeles) Dorsey. But the team winning was just as exciting.”
Madison (6-4, 2-2) trailed 10-0 but kept it together well enough that with four minutes to play before intermission, quarterback Daniel Stokes led them to a pair of quick touchdowns, hitting Ke’ontae Springs from 25 yards out and with 14.7 seconds remaining, Tyson Gangstad on a 4-yarder for a 14-10 advantage.
The Warhawks, however, were shut out in the second half, losing any hopes of making the Open Division playoffs and possibly even a first round bye in Division I.
Each entered the game in the No. 6 position, Division I for Madison and Division II for Lincoln, with both having outside hopes of moving into the top four, which earn first-round byes.
Brand is a freelance writer.
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