Lincoln beats Cheyney, 12-0, in second annual football tilt

Lincoln quarterback Laquan Williams tries to elude Cheyney's Hannibal Flores (43). Williams finished with 97 yards rushing.
Lincoln quarterback Laquan Williams tries to elude Cheyney's Hannibal Flores (43). Williams finished with 97 yards rushing.
Posted: September 06, 2010

"Restoring the Roar" is the Lincoln University athletic program's motto.

But after the NCAA disclosed rules violations at the Chester County school last week, it could be argued that the Lions are trying to restore some sense of normalcy.

On Sunday, Lincoln's football team, which was not named in the NCAA investigation, provided that.

The Lions defeated Cheyney, 12-0, in the second annual Battle of the Firsts Classic at Northeast High's Charles Martin Memorial Stadium.

"We hope when we perform like this, the people and the fans know that we are a good school and there's good athletics," Lincoln middle linebacker Brucelee Sterile said. "So the football team is going to continue to prove that Lincoln football is the top football team in the nation."

The Lions have started 1-0 for the third straight season after reestablishing their program following a 48-year absence.

But football wasn't the hot topic around the historically African American university earlier this week.

The Lions celebrated its official transfer from NCAA Division III to Division II status on Wednesday. But the next day, the Division III committee on infractions ruled that Lincoln had violated eligibility rules in men's track and field, soccer and basketball and women's volleyball.

According to the NCAA, Lincoln allowed 27 athletes to practice, compete and receive travel-related expenses despite being deemed ineligible from 2003 to 2009. The athletic program was placed on three years of probation.

Lincoln is barred from the NCAA playoffs in all sports during this academic season, and the basketball and track and field teams cannot appear on television. The track team also cannot participate in postseason meets for three seasons.

"We raised our hand and said that we had some violations that occurred," said third-year Lincoln athletic director Dianthia Ford-Kee, who reported the infractions to the NCAA. "We recognized that at that time. We all are acknowledging them."

Sunday's game was a chance for Lincoln to start anew. The Lions held the Wolves to 81 yards of offense.

Lincoln's punt-return unit was credited with two second-quarter safeties. Defensive tackle Eugene Lancaster recorded another safety in the final quarter by sacking Cheyney quarterback James Ramsey in the end zone.

"I'm not pleased, offensively. Defensively, yes," said Lincoln coach O.J. Abanishe, whose squad failed to convert two fourth-and-goal situations.

Lincoln quarterback Laquan Williams had 19 carries for a game-high 97 yards. He also completed 10 of 21 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Wideout Matthew Coston (five catches, 108 yards) caught a 17-yard pass for a touchdown with 9 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first quarter for 6-0 advantage.

Lincoln's next six points came courtesy of three Cheyney safeties.

Tyler Wilkinson attempted to punt from his own end zone 18 seconds into the second quarter for the Wolves (0-1). The ball, however, sailed over his head and out of the end zone for a safety.

Wilkinson stood in the end zone for what appeared to a punt attempt on Cheyney's next possession. Instead, the Avon Grove High graduate stepped out of bounds for a safety to give Lincoln a 10-0 cushion with 5:54 before intermission.

The loss extended Cheyney's losing streak to 29 games. The Wolves' last win came against Lock Haven on Sept. 29, 2007.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.

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