LYNN - The Lynn Bears used a stout defensive effort to secure a season opening 26-14 win over Phillips High School.
Lynn put up the first score of the night and wouldn't trail for the remainder of the contest. Lynn found pay dirt on their second drive of the night, after fielding a punt on their own 25, the Bears went to work on a 12-play drive that was capped by an 8-yard scamper from Brandon Hill run around the right side. The two-point try was no good, leaving the score at 6-0 with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter.
Phillips was unable to move the ball on their neighboring drive, being forced to punt after three consecutive incomplete passes. Lynn was also forced to punt on their ensuing drive after a holding call on second down detrimentally put the Bears behind the chains.
Phillips evened the score on their next drive of the game. After fielding a rolling punt deep in their own territory, the visiting Bears put together an 11-play, 77-yard drive that was capped by a 32-yard connection between second-year QB Ken Edwards and Hunter Lanford. Although the drive ended in a score, the highlight of the possession was a 36-yard gain on fourth down when Edwards found room around the left side on a fake punt call. The PAT was blocked by a group of Lynn defenders, leaving the score knotted at 6 with 5:25 left in the first half.
Lynn added two more scores before the end of the half, including a 67-yard interception return that went for a score in the final seconds of the second period.
The first score came on a three-yard carry from Hill that capped an eight-snap possession. The two-point try was again no good, leaving the score at 12-6 with 2:10 left in the second.
Lynn's third score of the night came on Phillips' ensuing drive. After the visiting Bears punched the ball into Lynn territory on a promising drive, an errant throw on second down was brought down by Lynn's Micah Cagle. After avoiding a few would-be tacklers, Cagle found room around the left sideline and followed a convoy of blockers to the end zone for the second. Hill carried over the two-point try, giving the Bears a 20-6 advantage with 13 seconds remaining in the first half.
The third period of the matchup was a true defensive battle with neither team finding the end zone. The quarter also included an interception and two forced fumbles which resulted in turnovers.
Lynn broke the ice on their first possession of the fourth period, however. After returning a punt to Phillips' 32 yard line, Lynn made quick work of the short field and found pay dirt in just three plays with Griffin Lynn carrying over the score from 7-yards out. The two-point try was again no good, leaving the score at 26-6 with 9:25 left in the game. Phillips capped the scoring for the night two possessions later after an interception gave them great field position deep in Lynn territory.
With the win, Lynn improves to 1-0 on the season as they prepare for their regional opener against Marion County High School this week. The Red Raiders will host the contest with kickoff expected to be at 7 p.m.
With the loss, the Phillips Bears drop to 0-2 on the year. This week, the Bears hope to bounce back with a win over regional opponent Vina.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.