Northeast Times

Two weeks, two forfeits, two wins for Lincoln

Start­Frag­ment

Even for the Pub­lic League, this is a weird situ­ation.

How else would you de­scribe the luck of the Lin­coln foot­ball team that has won two straight games — without ac­tu­ally step­ping onto the field?

The Railsplit­ters have been cred­ited with two straight for­feited wins over Thomas Edis­on and Ol­ney Charter, al­beit for dif­fer­ent reas­ons. Two weeks ago, Edis­on for­feited its game against Lin­coln due to low play­er num­bers (trans­la­tion: the eli­gib­il­ity of sev­er­al play­ers came in­to ques­tion). Then, be­cause of an all-out brawl in the Ol­ney-South­ern game that same week that was ini­ti­ated by the Ol­ney side, they for­feited the fol­low­ing week’s game against Lin­coln, and per­man­ently re­moved four play­ers from Ol­ney’s team.

The de­cision to can­cel the Ol­ney-Lin­coln game came after the prin­cipals of Ol­ney and South­ern, as well as Pub­lic League sports head Robert Cole­man, re­viewed the in­cid­ent and deemed Ol­ney com­pletely culp­able.

All the while, Lin­coln had to give up its game for a second straight week. They haven’t played since a 12-6 loss to Fur­ness on Sept. 28.

“It’s not good for the league,” Lin­coln Coach Ed Mc­Get­tigan said on Monday af­ter­noon as his team prac­ticed in the rain. “It’s not something that hap­pens all the time, and these two in­stances don’t re­flect on the coaches. It’s not as if they planned to have Lin­coln lose two games from the sched­ule, that’s just un­for­tu­nately how the chips fell. It was the coaches’ and prin­cipals’ de­cision, as well as Robert Cole­man’s, and I agree with it based on what happened.”

The good news is that the for­feits give Lin­coln two wins with­in the AAAA Sil­ver Di­vi­sion, ty­ing them atop the di­vi­sion with Fur­ness and Mast­baum at 3-1. The bad news? Win­ning without play­ing has kept the Railsplit­ters off the field; now, they must shake off the rust head­ing in­to Fri­day af­ter­noon’s crit­ic­al home game against Mast­baum.

“The biggest chal­lenge is that they’re not get­ting to play in game situ­ations,” Mc­Get­tigan said. “I also feel so bad for the seni­ors, who have to miss two games of their high school ca­reers, the ones where you make your memor­ies. But I can’t stress how pos­it­ive they’ve been and how great out prac­tices have been.”

Mc­Get­tigan said the Lin­coln seni­ors —namely quar­ter­back Miguel Sanc­hez, backs Dur­rell Dix­on and Gio­vanni John­son and line­man John Lewis — de­serve a ton of cred­it for keep­ing the team fo­cused in this strange time.

“This is a good group of kids, and I’m very proud of them,” Mc­Get­tigan said. “They’re do­ing mar­velous things on the field, as well as in the classroom. Un­for­tu­nately the last two weeks we haven’t been able to do any­thing on the field, but we will this week.”

The Railsplit­ters’ sights re­main set on their pre­season goal of mak­ing the play­offs. A win on Fri­day can put them one step closer.

Above all else, Mc­Get­tigan wants a good, clean game, hope­fully devoid of any in­cid­ents like the one that oc­curred in the South­ern-Ol­ney game.

You can reach at emorrone@bsmphilly.com.

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