Zebras end drought with 49-6 deluge of Wheatland

Lincoln attack balanced
By: Jim Linsdau of The News Messenger
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First Quarter

L – Sweet 19 pass from Adams (Diaz kick) 11:13

L – Graham 1 run (Diaz kick) 5:58

Second Quarter

L – Graham 16 run (Diaz kick) 2:06

Third Quarter

L – Graham 8 pass from Adams (Diaz kick) 9:23.

L – Graham 10 run (Diaz kick)

L – Graham 14 pass from Adams (Diaz kick) 4:59

L – Zbyshko 8 run (Diaz kick) 3:28

Fourth Quarter

W – Carpenter 3 run (kick failed) 2:38

It has been said that the full moon can change people and there may have been evidence of that in Lincoln Friday night.

Coming into the Highway 65 rivalry game at 0-3, the Fighting Zebras took on Wheatland following the Pirates’ 53-14 drubbing of Mesa Verde – what goes around comes around.

The Zebras drubbed the Bucs 49-6.

“We talked about the balance of it all the first three weeks and we’ve kept improving and we played some darn good football teams,” said Lincoln head coach Chris Bean. “We’ve raised the bar.

“Have we turned the corner? I don’t know, but I know that balance is tilting.”

Friday night, that tilt was a paradigm shift in Edward Alexander Grey Sports Complex.

Zebras’ running back Ryan Graham missed gaining 100 yards on the night, largely because he missed the fourth quarter. Graham was taken out after the game was well in hand.

But the senior did roll up an 84 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. And he had an additional 38 yard on pass receptions, two for TDs (all stats unofficial).

Graham also had a touchdown run negated on a penalty. And he appeared to score on a 6-yard run that was ruled a fumble into the end zone.

Quarterback Isaac Adams had a breakout night, throwing for three TDs on a 13-for-21 performance totaling 169 yards.

“I feel like my offensive line has been improving and I’ve been improving, trying to trust them as much as I can,” Adams said. “I’m proud of the way they performed and our receivers caught the ball, and it was a successful night.”

Wide receiver James Sweet was on the scoring end of a 19-yard pass from Adams, while grabbing four aerials for 51 yards.

Running back Taras Zbyshko also had a good night, gaining 60 yards on 13 carries and catching three passes for an additional 46 yards.

Accolades would not be complete without a shout-out for the Lincoln defense.

For most of the game, the Zebras pinned the Pirates so deep into their own territory that five Wheatland punts were downed on the visitor’s 22, 22, 29, 32 and 37 yard lines.

“We all trust each other and we all do our jobs,” said defensive tackle Dylan Quinn, who recorded a sack to end the first half. “And we’re just having fun.”

Lincoln will travel to Orangevale next week to take on Casa Roble. The 2-2 Rams have wins over Bella Vista and Union Mine.

JV – Lincoln got scores from Elijah Gomez, Deven Coffer, Harry Rounds and a pass from quarterback Luke Wiley to Rounds for a 24-10 victory over Wheatland.

Rounds set up his score with a kickoff return to the Pirates’ 9-yard line.