Isiah Gonzalez's heroics lift Olney over Lincoln

Olney’s victorious postgame huddle had all the usual celebratory fixin’s: heavy on the screaming, with a big dose of laughter. And the Trojans certainly didn’t skimp on the chanting.

Off to the side, however, tears streamed down the face of senior defensive back and wide receiver Isiah Gonzalez.

“I think I’m the only one [crying] here because of the journey I had to go through,” he said. “Family situations. And football is the only thing I have left. Sports keep me motivated.”

In Public League football action Thursday afternoon, the Trojans held off host Lincoln, 26-20, thanks in part to Gonzalez’s game-winning touchdown catch and two interceptions in his first game for Olney.

Family troubles, Gonzalez said, led to him transferring from Kensington to Olney to live with an aunt for his senior year.

After missing the first three games of the season, Gonzalez, a 6-foot-2, 181-pounder, said his release paperwork recently went through.

“It’s emotional because I had to sit on the sidelines and I’m very passionate about this game,” he said. “It’s all I have right now. I wrap my life around football.”

He added: “I didn’t want to leave [Kensington]. I’d been there since I was a freshman. I loved that school. But at this point, it’s about whatever is going to benefit me, whatever’s going to put me to the next level. I want to be the first person in my family to go to college, that’s my goal.”

On Thursday, his leaping touchdown in double-coverage with 1 minute, 26 seconds left proved to be the decisive score.

“I knew I just had to make a play,” he said. “I went up for it, caught it — I couldn’t believe I caught it — but in that moment I just had to do what I had to do. I don’t care about stats. I just want the win.”

After a lackluster 6-all tie through three quarters, both teams erupted for 34 combined points in the fourth.

Olney’s Jaleel Burton, who also first deflected Gonzalez’s second interception, started the offensive frenzy with a 6-yard touchdown run.

In response, Lincoln’s Sammy Karr bobbled a handoff then bounded for an 11-yard score with about six minutes left.

DaShawn Prince took the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for another Olney score that was quickly followed a Karr31-yard scoring run at the 3:41 mark.

That eventually led to Gonzalez’s game-winning, 22-yard catch thrown by Michael Addison.

Karr finished with 134 yards and three scores on 22 carries.

The Railsplitters (0-4) threatened with a final drive that was eventually thwarted on downs at Olney’s 20-yard line.

Before the tears flowed, Gonzalez, who had shown strong leadership characteristics throughout the game, let out a guttural ‘let’s go!’ after time expired.

“I came here and this team just took me in and treated me like I was one of their brothers,” he said. “I had to miss three games, but I came back and we won, and I played the best I could.”

Olney 0 6 0 20 26
Lincoln 0 6 0 14 20

O: Tyrone Blake 1 run. Run failed.
L: Sammy Karr 3 run. Run failed.
O: Jaleel Burton 3 run. Run failed.
L: Karr 11 run. Pass failed.
O: DaShawn Prince 81 kickoff. Run failed.
L: Karr 31 run. Karr run.
O: Isiah Gonzales 22 pass from Michael Addison. Pass failed.