Skip to main content

Lincoln holds off Madison 24-12, captures Western League championship

Lincoln captured their first league championship since the 2017 season.

Lead photo by Steven Silva

SAN DIEGO – Friday’s showdown between Madison and Lincoln was circled on the schedule by many during the preseason in August. The two teams lived up to the hype throughout the regular season, combining for a 17-1 record entering week 11.

When the ball kicked off, it was Lincoln (9-1) who seized control early and led for the final 30 minutes of the game, defeating Madison (9-1) 24-12.

“We have a motto around here; the next game is the most important game and not because it’s Madison, league champs,” Associate head coach Jason Carter said of his teams’ preparation dealing with a highly anticipated regular season finale.

The win gave Lincoln the outright Western League title, their first since they captured the Eastern League in 2017. It also secured the Hornets a berth in the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, a first for the program.

“We have a very strong and competitive league, but this is what we’ve worked for since I’ve been a freshman and it’s always on our minds as goals,” senior linebacker Chris Fewell said.

Lincoln returned the opening kickoff across midfield on Friday and after a penalty on Madison, the Hornets were able to begin their drive from the 25-yard line. On third and goal, quarterback KJ Chatham rolled right and was able to find a diving Jamarion Herbert for a six-yard touchdown.

Madison was forced to punt on their opening possession but quickly got the ball back after a tipped pass deep in Lincoln territory ended up in the hands of Lawson Minshew. Following the interception, short yardage back James Tivao put his head down and found the end zone from seven yards out. The Warhawks’ extra point was blocked, leaving Lincoln with a 7-6 lead.

The two teams traded possessions until Lincoln was able to put together a drive in the closing minute of the first half, settling for a 28-yard field goal with less than 20 seconds on the clock. The Hornets converted on the field goal but a roughing the kicker penalty against Madison gave them a fresh set of down from the six-yard line. Senior running back Roderick Robinson took the handoff, spun, and barreled his way through two defenders while reaching the ball across the goal line to give Lincoln a 14-6 halftime lead.

Madison began the second half by turning the ball over on downs from just outside of the red zone. Lincoln responded with a methodical drive of their own that was capped off by a Roderick Robinson 11-yard touchdown that left the Hornets 21-6 lead with just under three minutes to play.

Robinson did not have his usual explosiveness on Friday, playing through a leg injury, but still managed to rush for 100 yards on 17 carries.

The Warhawks showed urgency on offense after falling behind by two scores and quickly put together a drive that ended with a Jake Jackson 32-yard touchdown reception. Madison had needed only 56 seconds to cut the score from 21-6 to 21-12.

Madison was unable to get any closer thanks to a Lincoln defense that was active and alert from the start.

“This is my fifth year, and this is the most complete team we’ve had," Carter said. "We got the bigs, we got the skill.”

The Hornets were set up with strong field position on their final possession of the game following Madison’s third turnover on downs of the night. The Hornets took their time before settling on a 33-yard field goal that would turn out to be the final score of the night.

“Ever since we lost to Helix in the CIF championship, that’s been our drive all offseason,” Fewell said of the motivation throughout the season. “We don’t want that feeling again.”