O’Connor tosses four TD passes, leads Lynx into state final

McClain O’Connor threw four touchdown passes — three to Mike Wood — to help host Lincoln County’s football team to a 48-30 win over Pershing County in a Division III state semifinal Saturday in Panaca.

O’Connor completed 13 of 18 passes for 196 yards. He had scoring passes of 22, 15 and 6 yards to Wood and hit Landon Smith on a 20-yard scoring pass.

“The key was our passing game,” Lincoln County coach Rich Ottley said. “They were far bigger than us physically, so we had to pass to open things up, and O’Connor was on the money.”

Derek Matthews’ 2-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter gave the Lynx (11-1) a 20-16 halftime lead.

O’Connor’s TD pass to Smith expanded the lead to 28-16 early in the third quarter, and after a touchdown by Pershing County (6-5), Will Culverwell had a 3-yard scoring run to make it 34-24.

Wood, who had five catches for 108 yards, caught his third TD pass of the game late in the third quarter to bump the lead to 40-24.

Angel Ramirez’s second TD run of the day, a 4-yard scamper, brought the Mustangs to within 40-30, but Matthews added a 12-yard TD run to finish the scoring.

O’Connor also rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries for the Lynx, who advance to the state title game for the first time since 2005, when they last won the state championship.

Lincoln County will face Yerington (11-0) for the crown at 4 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Reno High. Yerington advanced with a 49-16 victory over Needles.