Lincoln Football withstands the weather delay for its first victory over Pioneer
ANN ARBOR – The weather made them wait what felt like an eternity, but the Ypsilanti Lincoln soccer team were determined to take care of business on Friday.
Despite a 90-minute weather delay due to a lightning strike, the Railsplitters made history by rolling past Ann Arbor Pioneer 37-13 on the road to score their first win over the Pioneers while keeping their playoff hopes going.
Even though the Pioneers (1-6) had problems this season and are no longer the old team, Lincoln coach Chris Westfall was still happy to finally get the monkey off his team’s back.
“Do you think we care where everyone is?” Said Westfall after the game. “To win is to win, especially when I don’t know how many wins I have in this field.”
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Lincoln had tried 12 times to beat the Pioneers and while they faced the adversity of the delay, nothing could stop them from taking the win and betting 3-4 for the season.
After a slow start, Lincoln’s luck changed with a safety on a Pioneer punt with 3:11 remainder in the first quarter. But right after the game, lightning strikes forced the officials to postpone the game and sent both teams to the locker room.
Lincoln kept his spirits up while it waited, and when it was time to resume the game at 8:53 PM, the Railsplitters didn’t need much time to warm up.
Senior star running back Jorden Collier came out of the half with a vengeance as he took a long run to Pioneer’s 1-yard line in the first game and scored a goal in the next game to take Lincoln’s lead to 9-0 to press.
Collier wasn’t done there as he then freed himself for an 81-yard scamper, which was then followed by a 5-yard run by quarterback Trey Richey, who blew the game and gave Lincoln 23-0 lead by halftime .
“It was tough,” said Collier of dealing with the delay. “But we just came out and stretched out and I knew that (after the delay) we would come out and end the game.”
Collier added his third touchdown in the third quarter and went over 200 yards for the second game in a row after a slow start to the season.
“How about him,” Westfall said of Collier. “He is special. The first month of the season was really frustrating because the offensive is so young and so inexperienced that he just had to wait and make most of his plays on the defensive, and now he’s starting to get going.
“He’s an amazing player and it’s nice to see him have a good night again.”
As for the Pioneers, it was another tough game that dropped them 1-6 this year.
It’s also been a tough week for the Pioneers as they played Friday’s game without head coach Jimmy Williams, who was on leave on Tuesday.
Junior varsity coach Steve Simpson stepped in as an interim coach against Lincoln and said he tried to encourage the team during the adversity it faced.
“With the children, as employees, we mainly focused on their experience,” said Simpson after the game. “We make sure our seniors are having fun, that we come out to compete, and we’ve really tried as hard as we can to put some of those things outside of football aside and really focus on the kids and the experience they have – for some of them for their last year. “
Lincoln still has the option of making the playoffs with two games remaining in the regular season.
The Railsplitters face a tough challenge against Ann Arbor Huron (6-1) next week, but Westfall is confident the team will be up to the challenge.
“We’ll just continue the process,” he said. “Of course we have a big test with Huron and if we survive him and Ypsilanti, I think we’ll be a playoff team. That is still the goal. “
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