Hearts Have Happy Homecoming, Defeat Lincoln for Third Straight Win


Published on October 8 2021 10:34 pm
Last Updated on October 10 2021 4:11 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham Hearts made it a happy Homecoming Friday night, posting a 34-22 win over the Lincoln Railsplitters for their third straight victory. The contest was heard on 979XFM.

Effingham moved over .500 at 4-3 for the season and finished Apollo Conference play with a 4-2 mark. 

Neither team scored in the first quarter, although Lincoln ran a better than eight-minute drive in the period that stalled on the Hearts' three-yard line. Effingham then marched 97 yards on 14 plays and scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Pontious to Evan Waymoth. The extra point by Armando Estrada made it 7-0.

Effingham then got the ball back on Lincoln's 36-yard line and after a loss, Pontious threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Estrada. His extra point made it 14-0 with 7:12 left before halftime.

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Photos by Riviera Records & Video Production. Additional photos are available here

Lincoln scored with a minute left in the period to pull within 14-8, but Effingham then staged a five-play, 68-yard drive capped by Pontious' seven-yard run for a score and Estrada's extra point to make it 21-8 at halftime.

Lincoln scored with a minute left in the third quarter to make 21-15, but Effingham bounced back with an eight-play, 64-yard drive highlighted by John Westendorf's 22-yard touchdown run and another Estrada extra point to make it 28-15 with 10 minutes left in the game.

The Hearts scored for the last time with 4:31 remaining on a five-play, 13-yard drive capped by Keegan Baker's four-yard touchdown run. The extra point try was no good, but Effingham was in front 34-15. A last second Lincoln score accounted for the 34-22 final.

The Hearts won despite a big edge in yardage for Lincoln, 451 to 284. Lincoln had the ball for nine minutes more than the Hearts, and they had 20 first downs to 14 for the Hearts.

The difference in penalties was huge. Effingham was called for four penalties for 40 yards, while Lincoln was called for 16 penalties for 160 yards.

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Photos by Riviera Records & Video Production. Additional photos are available here

Westendorf led the Hearts in rushing with 88 yards on 16 carries including a touchdown, while Baker had 12 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Pontious rushed seven times for 23 yards and a score.

Pontious had an interesting night, completing his first four passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, then misfired on his final six attempts. Estrada had three catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, while Waymoth had the 25-yard touchdown grab.

Pontious punted three times for 112 yards, and Estrada had six kickoffs for 321 yards. Westendorf, Myles Maxedon, Connor Thompson and Jacob Weaver each had a kickoff return. 

The Hearts are back on the road next Friday night at Breese to take on the Mater Dei Knights. Kickoff will be 7pm and the game will be on 979XFM and www.979xfm.com.