Lynx wear down Pats in 41-21 Metro win

Jakob King, for the Journal
Jill Meier/BV Journal 
Jackson Hilton fired up the jets in a 53-yard touchdown run as he fends off a Lincoln deender in Rdiay’s 41-21 Metro Conference victory. 
The Brandon Valley Lynx have a simple philosophy: We’re going to run the ball until you stop us, and we’ll see who has more points at the end of the game.
They stuck to that premise Friday when they hosted Metro Conference rival, the Lincoln Patriots (3-2). Possessing a 17-14 lead heading into the second half, the Lynx (4-1) unloaded a ground assault that rendered the Patriots’ defense completely powerless. The result was a 24-point second half in which every yard was gained on the ground, and a 41-21 victory, their second straight Metro Conference win. 
“The offensive line played extremely well in the second half,” said head coach Chad Garrow. “They were able to create a lot of open space for Tate (Johnson), and Tate played off of them really well.”
The first half of the game saw each team capitalize on the other’s miscue on special teams. The Lynx were forced to punt with the game still scoreless in the first quarter, but Lincoln’s return man dropped the kick, and the BV’s Peyton Carroll fell on it to give BV great field position. The Lynx made Lincoln pay for the muffed punt with Johnson’s first touchdown of the night to make it a 7-0 game. 
After Lincoln responded with a score of their own to knot the game at 7-all, BV again failed to do anything with the ball and had to punt. This time, an errant snap led to a loose ball that Lincoln recovered deep in BV territory. On the next play, Patriot quarterback Tommy Thompson hit wide receiver Logan Needles for the go-ahead touchdown.
“It was good to see our guys keep their heads up after that mistake,” said Garrow. “It’s easy to put your heads down after that kind of thing happens. They didn’t let it get to them, though.” 
In need of an offensive spark, the Lynx put the ball in the hands of their most explosive player on the next series, BV senior wide receiver Jackson Hilton, and the rest was history. Hilton was too fast as he maneuvered his way past Lincoln’s linebackers and evaded their secondary en route to a game-tying 53-yard TD.
“Whether we get it to him in the air or on the ground, we have to get Jackson the ball more,” said Garrow. “Good things happen when he gets the ball.”
BV capped off the first half with a field goal to take a 17-14 lead into the break. 
BV put the game in the hands of Johnson in the third quarter, and he seemed happy to carry the load. On the first drive of the stanza, the Lynx didn’t have to do anything fancy. They just gave the ball to Johnson time after time, and he led them to a 60-yard TD drive to extend the lead to 24-14.
BV stuck with their simple philosophy on their next possession as well. They ran the ball until Lincoln could stop it, but the Patriots never found a solution. They gave the ball to Johnson seven times on the drive, and let BV quarterback Joe Kolbeck finish it with a seven-yard scamper that made the deficit too much for the worn out Patriots to overcome. In the third quarter alone, the Lynx ran the ball 16 times for 130 yards, leaving Lincoln wondering what had hit them.
The Patriots kept things interesting in the fourth quarter. Looking for a quick score, Thompson launched a prayer to wide receiver Robert Hutchinson. The pass bounced off the hands of Hilton, then Hutchinson juggled it in the end zone before corralling it for the 34-21 score. 
The Patriots’ last chance at a comeback came on the ensuing onside kick, but the Lynx put their rivals to rest by recovering it. Johnson scored his third and final touchdown of the night before BV turned out the lights.
The Lynx continue with their Metro Conference schedule this week when they travel to Howard Wood Field to take on the Washington Warriors at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Warriors (3-3) are coming off of a 31-7 loss to O’Gorman and the Lynx will be looking to improve to 5-1 with three games to play before the post-season action heats up. 


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