Hoping to end its first football season in 48 years the way it started-with a win-the Lions' battled back from a 23-6 third period deficit to pull within three, but visiting St. Paul's College held on for the win, 23-20, Saturday afternoon at Avon Grove High School. Lincoln completes its historic season with a record of 1-9, while the Tigers' victory pushed them back to the.500 mark at 5-5.Turning the tide for St. Paul's were a couple of big plays from its special teams, turning a pair of blocked punts into points on the board. The first came midway through the second quarter while the Tigers were clinging to a one-point lead. Joshua Murray broke through for the block, and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety. Following the Lions' free kick, the Tigers' upped the damage on its ensuing possession when St. Paul's quarterback Jaren Troutman connected with Floyd Carey on a 23-yard scoring strike.
The second came midway through the third, when the Tigers blocked another punt deep in Lions' territory, and Gregory Toler fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown that put the margin at 23-6 in favor of St. Paul's.
Lincoln had plenty of highlights of its own on the day, including getting on the board first with a 17-yard run from D'Ante Smith. Smith also caught nine balls for 63-yards Saturday afternoon, including a 29-yard touchdown reception on a flea-flicker from Andre Crier. Crier was credited with the Lions' other score, a 45-yard catch and run on a pass from Kareem Dennis.
Trey Thomas led the Lions' ground game, rushing for 72-yards on 17-carries. Dennis completed 18 of 31 passing attempts for 155-yards and a touchdown.
The final score belies an otherwise great effort from an aggressive Lions' defense. While holding the Tigers to just 269-yards of offense and two offensive scores, the Lions forced seven fumbles in the game, recovering six of them.