ELLENBORO -- Lincoln used a dominant defensive effort and the running of Andrew Perine to crush Ritchie County, 51-6, Friday night at Chuck Schofield Stadium.
Lincoln's defense held the Rebels to minus-4 yards rushing and minus-1 passing in the first half and 97 total yards while forcing six turnovers.
"Our defense played really well," said Lincoln coach Jimmy Lopez. "I don't think they got any yards until they broke that play late."
"They were having a lot of problems, and our kids were playing very physical, probably the most physical we've played all year."
While the defense was suffocating the Ritchie offense, Perine rushed for 198 yards and five touchdowns on just 24 carries to lead the Cougar attack, which totaled 383 yards and 30 first downs. He also added another score on defense.
"Andrew played great, but you have to look at some of that blocking. Both sides of the line controlled things for us," Lopez said.
The Cougars (5-4) took the opening kickoff and methodically marched down the field. Perine capped the 11-play, 65-yard drive with a 3-yard run.
After forcing Ritchie to a three-and-out, the Cougars struck quickly, taking just four plays to add their second score -- a 1-yard plunge by Perine. This made it 13-0 with 4:32 remaining in the opening quarter.
Perine struck again on an 11-yard run, capping a 10-play, 71-yard drive early in the second period.
Daniel Huffman recovered a Ritchie fumble at the Rebel 17, but the Ritchie defense stiffened and forced a 32-yard field goal from Luiz Brunetti. This made it 22-0 at the 8:34 mark of the second quarter.
Ritchie then fumbled the ensuing kickoff with Lincoln recovering at the 33. Three plays later, Perine crashed in from 3 yards for his fourth TD of the evening.
Perine then added a defensive score, scooping up a Ritchie botched snap and racing 50 yards untouched for a touchdown. This made it 36-0 at the intermission.
Ritchie turned it over on the opening drive of the second half at the Lincoln 46. The Cougars marched from there in six plays with Perine scoring from 6 yards.
After forcing a punt, Lincoln's second unit drove 86 yards in nine plays. The drive was capped when Evan Nuzum caught a 10-yard pass from Jeremy Harmer with 9:57 remaining to play.
The Rebels' lone score came when freshman Shawn Robinson hit Zach Linville for a 52-yard touchdown pass with 3:18 to play.
Ritchie's offense was hampered when quarterback Jon Jones suffered a wrist injury during the first defensive series and never took a snap.
"Their quarterback getting hurt at the beginning hurt them," Lopez said. "I saw him play last week, and they gave Doddridge a good game."