"Eligibility is what happened," said Eagle head coach Jerry Storts. "We lost our starting quarterback, Matt Petree. He (Hoyt) is our JV quarterback. That's part of it."
Lopez came in at quarterback in the second quarter and played two periods with moderate results, throwing for 62 yards. Hoyt finished with 35 yards passing.
Storts said of Lopez: "He sucked it up and did a good job. We thought Jesse could do the job. He just needs to get active."
The Hornets didn't need a passing game with Cannon carrying the ball. Lincoln finished without a single passing yard, throwing only six times, but rushed for 450 yards.
"We've got some receivers," said Hornet head coach Tony Jackson. "We have thrown the ball a couple of times this year, but I'm a run guy. I like to see that short exchange instead of seeing that ball go down the field and anything can happen."
Southwest was never in the game, with Lincoln jumping to a 27-0 first-quarter lead.
The Eagles got their act together in the second quarter after Lopez came in, controlling the ball for most of the period and shutting out Lincoln.
"We just opened up some holes in the middle," Storts said. "It's been our story all year long. We get inside the red zone and we do something to mess up. Penalties killed us."
The loss wraps up Southwest's season at 4-7
"Our fans were on the edge of their seats, with the exception of this game, every game," Storts said. "You never knew who was going to win until the last couple of minutes of the ballgame. I think it's been a pretty exciting year."
The Imperial Valley will get another shot at corralling Cannon and the other Hornets. Lincoln, 8-2, will head to Brawley (which had a bye this week) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the second round of the CIF Division III playoffs.