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PREP FOOTBALL

Zebras roll over Mustangs for senior night

Season finale at Placer
By: Aaron Jackson for The News Messenger
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The Lincoln High football team went up against the Foothill Mustangs in Friday’s Pioneer Valley League match-up for their final home game of the season and came away with a 55-32 victory.

Heading into the game, the Fighting Zebras were coming off a 43-20 victory at home against Center and Foothill was coming off a 53-19 loss to Placer. Even though Foothill’s record was the polar opposite of the Zebras, they fight hard and had something to prove. Lincoln had to be prepared.

“We are still out of sync at times; we miss tackles and have to rely on big players to make big plays,” said Lincoln head coach Chris Bean, pregame. “I’m tired of not fully clicking and we need to execute tonight to win this game.”

Foothill took the opening kickoff and was held to three-and-out. After fielding a Mustangs’ punt, the Zebras offense went to work.

Lincoln stormed down the field and scored on quarterback Tommy Turner’s pass to wide receiver Harry Rounds for a 32-yard touchdown. After Brett Woolley’s extra-point kick, the Zebras were up 7-0.

Foothill came back with a Kyle McLaughlin to Traivion Drummer 45-yard touchdown pass and converted a 2-point conversion for an 8-7 Mustangs’ lead. Lincoln answered with a Deven Coffer 12-yard TD run to give the lead back to the Zebras 14-8.

Foothill then counterpunched, with William Goebell throwing a 79-yard bomb down the field to Isaiah Churchill to put the Mustangs in scoring position. Cameron Manning rushed 1 yard for a touchdown to end a wild first quarter, with the teams tied at 14 apiece.

But the exchange of blows ended in quarter two, as the Zebras scored 28 unanswered points to make the score 42-14 at halftime.

Three of the four touchdowns were passes from Turner, two to Rounds. Lincoln also forced a fumble recovered by Grady Manley that led to a Seth Sampson touchdown run.

The Zebras’ comfortable 28-point lead proved too comfortable. Lincoln was outscored in the second half 18-13, as they turned the ball over five times. Foothill also had three turnovers, one an interception by linebacker Jack Boatman.

The biggest play of the half came off a James Sweet 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, his second of the season. The 55-32 victory now puts Lincoln in position for a possible outright league championship.

After the game, Coach Bean said “We have gotten a bit banged up, we had a couple injuries at the end of last week’s game and we had other players step up and play tackle and center. Overall, we put up 55 and we are at a good place as a team.”

Rounds completed the evening with three TD receptions. The junior hauled in 10 passes for 149 yards and credited Bean and Turner’s passing for his success.

“In the beginning of the year I was nervous …,” said Rounds. “I’m really hoping to see us in playoffs.”

THIS WEEK

Lincoln plays Placer Friday night in Auburn, as both teams will go into battle once again to see who will come out on top as Pioneer Valley League champion for the final time. Both teams will move to the Foothill Valley League next season.

_ Aaron Jackson is the sports information director for Lincoln High School.