Turnover chain comes to the IL

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 21, 2018 - 9:58 AM

Lincoln Prep sophomore linebacker Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan had just recovered a fumbled kickoff against Washington and sprinted towards the Blue Tigers’ bench. A chest bump or two later, the focus of Hamilton-Jordan’s mad dash became abundantly clear.

The Blue Tigers are 3-1 overall and 2-0 in Interscholastic League play heading into PrepsKC’s BeYOUnion.com Game of the Week against undefeated Pembroke Hill (4-0). The Week 5 showdown promises to be a good one.

But the talk of the town so far this season has been Lincoln Prep’s gold-coated turnover chain adorned with a blue and gold ‘LP.’ The jewelry has inspired the Blue Tigers’ defense to swarm to the ball and create havoc. It’s a highly sought-after motivational tool for a team that has for the first time in years ran out a platoon system on offense and defense.

“The turnover chain, I got it tonight,” Hamilton-Jordan said after Lincoln Prep’s dominating 52-29 Week 4 win over Washington. “I was either going to get a big hit or recover the kick off. (The return man) just stood there. He dove for it, but I was faster to the ball. I just came to the sideline and celebrated with the chain. That’s all I can do.”

The chain is a rallying cry for a Blue Tigers’ defense that has caused at least seven turnovers the last two games.

“We are having fun and creating way more turnovers,” Hamilton-Jordan said.

Offensively, Lincoln Prep is paced by sophomore quarterback Howard Brown, Preps KC’s Papa John’s co-player of the week after accounting for five touchdowns against Washington. Brown has seen the turnover chain bring a newfound swagger to the defense.

“Everybody is executing to get that chain,” he said. “It brings a lot of pride and a lot of discipline to the defense to attack the ball.”

Hamilton-Jordan agreed the defense has been flying around and banging shoulder pads. The approach has led to three wins in four games. The turnover chain has been integral in Lincoln Prep’s early-season success, Hamilton-Jordan said.

“It’s a team game and whoever gets it, we all celebrate,” he said. “There is no selfishness at all.”

In other IL action, Kansas City Central (1-3, 1-0) will try to stop a two-game slide against East (0-4). The Week 5 matchup features two teams with only one win between them.

East was stopped 47-12 at Oak Grove in Week 4. The Blue Eagles were routed by Odessa 70-6.

The loss was another reminder of the rebuilding job facing Central and head coach Allan Supplee after graduating 17 seniors from last year’s league-champion squad.

“Odessa is a very good team and we couldn’t compete at that level,” Supplee said. “We are young and learning how to be football players. Our focus is to continue to grow and compete every play of every game.

Northeast (1-3, 0-2) will try to improve its winning streak to two games after a thrilling 14-12 Week 4 win over Harmon (0-3). The Vikings take on Van Horn (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Crossroads Conference) in Week 5.

Southeast (0-4, 0-1) looks for its first win of the season when the Knights battle St. Michael (1-3) in non-league play.