Javion Surles accounted for six first-half touchdowns to lead Lincoln past Holtville 48-13 on homecoming Friday night at Keith Howard Memorial Stadium.
“With 10 minutes to go in the second quarter, it is 14-13, and we just let it get away from us,” Holtville coach Jason Franklin said. “Hats off to Lincoln, they are a really talented bunch. They are athletic and they made plays, and we didn’t.”
Surles made his final homecoming a memorable one as he went 10 of 13 passing for 222 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 70 yards and a score on six carries. It was the second time Surles has had five passing touchdowns this season.
Lincoln was coming off a 24-10 loss to Munford last week.
“It was a great way to bounce back,” Lincoln coach Matt Zedaker said. “He knew that he did not play well the last game, so he had a point to prove when he came out, and I think he proved it. He is going to give a lot of credit to his offensive line, his receivers for getting open. Brian Garrett had a heck of a game as well, catching touchdown passes all over the place.
“We need that from Javion and we need that from that offense if we are going to defend the region title. Going into a tough game against Handley next week, we are going to need that type of production.”
Lincoln got off to a rough start as Surles fumbled on his team’s first possession.
Matt Kemp scooped up the football and took it back 25 yards for a touchdown.
Lincoln responded on its ensuing drive as Surles connected with Garrett for a 15-yard score.
Holtville made an interesting call deep in its own territory on its next possession. On a fourth and 1 at its own 14-yard line, Holtville’s fake punt was stopped short of the first-down marker, giving Lincoln the football in the red zone.
We knew that we would have to take some chances,” Franklin said. We took a chance early on fourth and 3 inches and we didn’t get it. Good football teams have to get that. We have to go back to work and get better this upcoming week. I didn’t think we played with a lot of fire in us (Friday night). We got hit in the mouth and we took it. That’s the disappointing part.”
Surles made the Bulldogs pay, running 5 yards around right end to make it 14-7.
Holtville’s Braxton Buck led a 65-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 1-yard run by Kemp to cut the lead to 14-13. The PAT attempt was blocked by Lincoln’s Cameron Reynolds.
From there, Lincoln took command as Surles & Co. scored 34 unanswered points.
Surles connected with Garrett on back-to-back possessions for touchdown passes of 39 and 23 yards.
On the 23-yard catch-and-run for a score, Garrett juked a Holtville defender, sending him tumbling to the turf.
Surles then connected on consecutive possessions with Tre Garrett in the back of the end zone for touchdowns of 39 and 14 yards to increase the margin 41-13 going into halftime.
Lincoln’s Kendrick Truss returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown.
Lincoln’s playmakers stepped up in a big way Friday. Brain Garrett had five receptions for 131 yards and three scores. Tre Garrett had 54 yards on two touchdown receptions. Da’Zhone Finley had three receptions for 37 yards for the Golden Bears.
Lincoln’s defense held Holtville to 144 yards of total offense. The Golden Bears forced two Holtville turnovers.