A muffed punt return early in Friday’s game marked the start of what ended up being a long, frustrating night for the Linganore football team against visiting Penns Grove, New Jersey.
Linganore turned the ball over four times within a 13-minute span of the first half. Penns Grove converted two of those miscues into touchdowns, eventually rolling to a 34-6 win over the previously unbeaten Lancers (5-1).
“We didn’t play Linganore football tonight,” Linganore coach Rick Conner said. “We turned the ball over, we gave Penns Grove some short fields. They’re too good a team to do that to. That’s about the long and the short of it.”
The Lancers held the 6-0 Red Devils on their opening series, but on the Penns Grove punt, Linganore muffed the ball on the return attempt. The Red Devils recovered at the Lancers’ 21-yard line.
Linganore averted disaster, making a stop at its own 20, but gave the ball right back to Penns Grove. The Red Devils’ Makhi Scott picked off a short Linganore pass, returning it to the Lancers 17.
Three plays later, Nasir Robinson scored from 2 yards out with 8 minutes, 5 seconds to go in the first quarter, giving Penns Grove a 6-0 lead. One minute later, Linganore fumbled again.
The Red Devils recovered the ball at the Lancers’ 30. At the 6:24 mark, Robinson scored from 8 yards out. Quarterback Kavon Lewis flipped the 2-point conversion pass to Torvon Ransome and Penns Grove led 14-0.
It didn’t get any better for Linganore.
Jamar Johnson broke a 50-yard TD run for the Red Devils to start the second quarter for a 20-0 lead. Linganore ran six plays, only to fumble the ball away again.
The Red Devils led 26-0 at halftime thanks to a 16-yard touchdown run by Jayon Carter with 2:16 to go in the half.
Carter scored another TD on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Robinson led a Penns Grove running game that netted 207 yards. He rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
“He’s a good ballplayer, and he’s only a junior,” Conner said.
Linganore averted a shutout when Brady Domroe scored on a 36-yard run with 10:37 left in the third quarter.
Late in the game, with the outcome all but decided, Conner went to his bench, subbing out most of his starters and giving some reserves a little extra playing time.
“It was good to get some of those kids in the game tonight. I was pleased with how they played,” Conner said.
Penns Grove had 338 yards in total offense; Linganore had 218.