Lincoln kicked off to Benjamin Russell to start the jamboree.
The Wildcats opened the game with an illegal procedure penalty, making their first play from scrimmage 1st and 15. Ben Russell quickly went three-and-out to punt to the Golden Bears.
Lincoln converted on a fourth down and 4 to go situation, but failed on its next fourth down attempt.
Taking over on downs, the Wildcats battled their way into Bear territory. After another illegal procedure penalty, quarterback Bryant Horn passed off to tailback Quez Alvies who ran 32-yards for a touchdown.
A successful point after brought the score to 7-0 Wildcats with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive for Lincoln, Jaivon Banks of the Wildcats picked off the Golden Bears’ pass.
Benjamin Russell wasted no time, scoring on a 20-yard pass from Bryant Horn to LaBrenkin Johnson on the first down. With just 49 seconds left in the first quarter, the point after gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.
Lincoln struggled in its drives to make it back the line of scrimmage and allowed another touchdown with 1:14 left in the second quarter. Tyrik Norris broke away on a fourth down gamble, running in a 34-yard touchdown.
Lincoln began the third quarter on a positive note, with Danny Bradford intercepting a Wildcat pass and running the ball 30-yards back.
Lincoln managed to keep the ball for over six minutes and converted two fourth downs on the drive. The home team was able to get on the board with a cut from freshman Zay Caldwell giving him the room for a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
A failed drive from Benjamin Russell gave Lincoln the ball in the final minutes. As the lights came on over the field, the lights went out for the Golden Bears.
Struggles early in the game proved too much to overcome, and the Bears walked away with a 21-7 loss.
Head coach Ryan Herring said he wasn’t pleased with the final score, but wasn’t discouraged, either.
“These kids needed to get one under their belts and get the jitters out,” Herring said. “I think we had some bright spots. Our defense was great in spurts. I saw some stuff to work on, but you have that every day.”
Backfield woes made it difficult for Lincoln to gain positive yardage. While his offense struggled, Herring is optimistic.
“We threw the ball really well at times,” Herring said. “We just weren’t consistent. We just need to get some consistency.”
Next week, Lincoln opens the regular season against Leeds in a Thursday night, televised game.
The first-year coach said he will be watching film to see where his team has deficiencies.
“We just have to work on us right now,” Herring said. “I’m not worried about Leeds. I’m more concerned with Lincoln right now. There’s just so many things that we need to be working on.”