By Dan Carr, assistant AD for Media Relations
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Lincoln football team played Central Oklahoma close in the first quarter, but the Bronchos pulled away in the second half to hand LU a 45-3 loss on Saturday (Oct. 1).
Javier Moreno kicked a 33-yard field goal set up by a 20-yard completion from Nathan Valencia to Daimon Bell midway through the first quarter. Bell also caught a 22-yard pass from Valencia on that drive, which resulted in Lincoln (0-5, 0-5 MIAA) pulling to within 7-3 of Central Oklahoma (3-2, 3-2 MIAA). The Bronchos tacked on a field goal to regain a seven-point at the end of the first stanza.
Lincoln shut out the Bronchos in the fourth quarter, but UCO managed to score its remaining points in the second and third periods while keeping the Blue Tigers off the scoreboard. Valencia finished with 12 completions for 99 yards while Zamar Brake had six completions for 62 yards. Bell ended the day with a team-high 50 receiving yards, and Chrisshun Robinson caught four passes for 41 yards.
Saturday was Homecoming, and the Blue Tiger defense had some big plays to electrify the crowd. Cody Bagby made a pair of solo sacks and broke up a pass while finishing with four tackles on the afternoon. Lincoln had five total tackles for loss, with Julian Jackson-Linkhart, who recorded nine takedowns, teaming with Aaron Okello on one. Markey Mallary had a tackle for loss and four other takedowns, and Otis Jackson and Charles Ransom were each credited with hurries.
Lincoln did not turn the ball over at all on Saturday, but took the ball away from UCO on two occasions. In the second quarter, Central Oklahoma was driving into Lincoln territory before Joel Talley, Jr. intercepted a pass and returned it for 24 yards. The Blue Tigers also ended a Broncho drive in the third quarter by taking the ball away, as Demarea Ball fell on a fumble to give Lincoln the ball at the UCO 28.
Elvis Bridgeman led Lincoln with 12 tackles while Eric Brown, Cameron Hawkins, Samuel Amituanai and Kyvin Carroll each finished with five tackles. Carroll had a tackle for loss and Brown broke up a pass. Jaylon Mosley provided four tackles, and Devyn Sigars broke up a pass while Kelvon Durham and Jamahreon Smith made three tackles apiece.
The Blue Tigers will travel to Joplin, Mo. next Saturday (Oct. 8) to play Missouri Southern in a 2 p.m. contest.