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PREP FOOTBALL

Zebras shut out Whitney in Stars and Stripes game

Lincoln defense stifles Wildcats
By: Aaron Jackson for The News Messenger
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The Lincoln High football team took on visiting Whitney last Friday in a game where the Fighting Zebras fired on all cylinders in front of a home crowd to defeat the Wildcats 30-0.

It was Lincoln’s first shutout since 2009; the year they went 10-0 during the regular season.

The Zebras came in off their bye week while the Wildcats came in following a 49-10 loss at home to the Central Grizzlies.

“It was a bummer having the bye when it was, but at the same time it allowed us to get a little healthier and more time for us to prepare for this great matchup,” said Lincoln head coach Chris Bean before the game.

Whitney took the opening kickoff and managed to pin Lincoln on their 1-yard line. But the Zebras went on a five-minute drive that resulted in a Brett Woolley 21-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Whitney took the following kickoff and nearly returned the favor by going on a four-minute drive that ended with an interception by Zebras’ defensive back Jorge Diaz entering the second quarter. It took one play after that for Lincoln to score their first touchdown.

Using a flea-flicker play to give Tommy Turner a little extra time, the quarterback threw a 65-yard bomb to Harry Rounds for the score; a 2-point conversion failed leaving the score at 9-0.

Turner and Rounds repeated their aerial attack two more times and the defense picked off another pass, allowing the home club to take a 23-0 lead into halftime.

The Zebras defense, led by safety Zach Hatten’s eight tackles and a forced fumble, continued their dominance in the second half. On offense, Jacob Lemus capped Lincoln’s scoring with a 10-yard TD run.

 “We live by strength in numbers. We have guys who are twos and threes, who are coached up just as if they were a starter,” said Bean. “It doesn’t surprise me that our guys would fight until the very end.”

Bean said his club must now become road warriors. They travel to Center (4-0) Friday, a team Bean described as big, fast, physical and well coached.

Next up will be a long trip to 4-0 Eureka Sept. 21 and then on to Oakmont to open Foothill Valley League play Sept. 28.

“In practice, we’ve been pushing hard and we have to keep working for Center and Eureka,” said Hatten. “Practice makes perfect.”

Rounds, who caught three TD passes, said the Zebras did not reach their full potential, in spite of the 30-0 victory.

“The motto of our offense is finish fast and play physical,” Rounds said. “With coach and the game plan he has, I think our offense is looking really good.”

Whitney would have to agree.