Everything was going right for Truman in its move up from the Bowl Division after winning the Bowl Title last year. The Mustangs were undefeated and their confidence was brimming.
Then, they ran into Lincoln.
Led by the outstanding play of running back Kareem Folkes and their defense, the Railsplitters dominated Saturday night in Coney Island. Undefeated Lincoln moved to 4-0 after routing Truman 46–6 in Public School Athletic League action.
Folkes led the offensive barrage with 103 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
“We feel great and we’re trying to not buy into the hype,” he said. “We hope to take it one game at a time and get ready for the playoffs.”
Folkes got help from Lincoln senior quarterback Jessel Jones, who went 6-for-11 and ran in a 9-yard touchdown. Lincoln was able to run all over the Mustangs (3-1) for 231 yards.
“I thought the kids did a great job tonight,” Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor said. “They responded well and were able to run the ball effectively. Truman is a really good team and we were able to get the best of them today.”
Lincoln’s defense also stepped up, keeping Truman off the board until there was just 2:45 left. The Railsplitters grabbed two interceptions in the first half, one by Miguel Acevedo that led to Folkes’ first touchdown with 3:11 left in the first quarter, and the other by Denzel Duchenne, which led to a drive that would eventually end in Jones’ touchdown pass to Jamiek Davis. The defense collected 10 sacks and recover two fumbles.
“If you practice as hard as we do it’ll show off eventually and tonight it showed off,” Duchenne said. “So far we’re playing good. Tonight’s win is just another step.”
The hard work correlated to the field on Saturday as the Railsplitters won a big game against a Truman team that could do nothing but tip its cap.
“We played a great team tonight,” Truman assistant coach Vinnie Tamburro said. “We have to learn from our mistakes and come back to beat them the next time around.”
As for Lincoln, the Railsplitters lost in the championship game last year, and despite so many key losses to graduation, from quarterback Andrew Vital to linemen Wayne Williams and Ishaq Williams, have continued that success.
“Our ultimate goal is to win the title,” O’Connor said. “We want to get better for the playoffs. Our goal is to get better every game. The kids are responding. We have a lot of confidence.”