Railsplitter MVP: Allston Augustin looks to make a tackle against Judge’s Jeremy Smith. Augustin was Lincoln’s game MVP for the third straight year. BILL ACHUFF / FOR THE TIMES
Tim Weldon figured he’d be the go-to guy for Father Judge in its Thanksgiving rivalry with Abraham Lincoln.
The junior running back entered the game leading the Crusaders in carries and yards, and his blockers had a size advantage on the Lincoln linemen.
“It’s a rivalry game, and I knew it would be a tough game. I was just trying to do my best running. We had to win the game for our seniors. It was their last game, and we had to give it our all,” he said.
Weldon and the line dominated all day. He carried 19 times for 203 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Crusaders to a 38–12 victory at the Barfoot Bowl.
“The line is mostly seniors, and they blocked great,” he said.
Weldon attended W.B. Saul as a freshman, then played for Judge as a sophomore.
Yeedee Thaenrat was the team’s star runner last year, but Weldon has earned that title and even inherited Thaenrat’s №9 jersey.
“Tim had a big game. He played a heckuva game. He did a great job. He was running the ball well,” said Judge coach Mike McKay.
Lincoln hasn’t defended the run well all year, and the Railsplitters knew the Crusaders would rely on Weldon and their big line to move the ball.
“They’re big up front. They have fifty to a hundred pounds on our guys,” said Lincoln coach Ed McGettigan.
Weldon was named Judge’s Most Valuable Player. Teammate Frank Conway, who caught four passes, earned Judge’s Sportsmanship Award.
Lincoln’s Sportsmanship Award went to Nassir Coleman, also a star basketball player who could play both sports at Widener. The MVP for the third year in a row was senior Allston Augustin.
“He played really good. He had a great year at quarterback, and we’re going to miss him a lot,” McGettigan said. “He’s our best player. He has a great sense of the field. He has great football sense. He’s really good.”
Judge (6–6) won for the 27th time in a row and leads the over-all series, 39–3–1.
Lin-coln (5–7) hasn’t beaten Judge since 1989.
Judge stormed to a 22–0 lead in the first quarter on two touchdown runs by Weldon and one TD run by quarterback Rob King.
Augustin had a TD run in the second quarter, but Colton Lieggi’s 26-yard field goal gave Judge a 25–6 lead at halftime.
Coleman caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Augustin to allow Lincoln to close within 25–12 in the third quarter, but Weldon added two TD runs to help the Crusaders pull away.
“We expected a hard-fought game,” McKay said.
“They have some nice players. We knew they were a pretty good football team. But we came to play. It was a good win for us.”
McKay will lose 21 seniors, including his starting offensive line and tight end.
“We’re going to be very young and inexperienced next year,” he said.
Key losses will include captains King, Justin Gies, Dom Carey and Earl Volz.
King completed 7-of-14 passes for 92 yards, all in the first half. He finished the year with 1,786 yards passing and 20 touchdowns. He’s given a verbal commitment to Temple, but Army and Coastal Carolina continue to recruit him.
Gies intercepted two passes, caught a pass for 17 yards and had a nice kick return to set up Lieggi’s field goal. He finished with 742 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. He’ll play at the Division II or III level in college.
Carey might play at Army. Fellow lineman Volz appears headed to a Division II or III school.
For Lincoln, Augustin completed 12-of-26 passes for 167 yards and the TD to Coleman. He also caught two passes for 54 yards. He broke the school’s season record for passing yards previously held by Joe McCausland, a 2010 grad who was in the bleachers cheering on the Railsplitters.
“We had some success throwing the ball. We moved the ball,” McGettigan said.
While two-way lineman Jamir Turner will be missed, the rest of the line will be back. Sam Karr and Abdoulaye Ndiaye, a middle linebacker who intercepted eight passes, will also be key returnees.
Other key losses for the Railsplitters will include Augustin, Coleman and running back Michael Guyton.
“Those are three great weapons we had,” McGettigan said. ••
Crusader touchdown: Tim Weldon ran for 203 yards and scored four times in Judge’s 38–12 win over Lincoln on Thanksgiving. BILL ACHUFF / FOR THE TIMES