Catch 22, if you can

Lincoln’s Stanley, Placer’s Gotzmer provide fireworks for wing-T attacks
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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A couple of guys with unlikely names may be the most likely to have major impacts on tonight’s battle between undefeated Placer and Lincoln High football teams. They’re both smooth athletes who wear No. 22 and strike fear into opposing defenses with their blazing speed. They chew up big yardage with their long strides, using blocking lanes in their respective offenses like passing lanes on the freeway. They fit the wing-T to a… T. And tonight, Moses Stanley and Asher Gotzmer are embracing their biggest challenges of the year. Homeschooled last year, Stanley became an instant Lincoln legend when he caught a short pass and dashed 58 yards for a touchdown to beat Whitney in the final seconds last month in Lincoln. Conversely, Gotzmer’s stardom has been in the works since he was a sophomore. Placer coach Joey Montoya — then in his first season at Placer — brought Gotzmer up from the junior varsity midway through the season and Hillmen fans have enjoyed watching him run, and run, and run ever since. The soft-spoken Gotzmer has emerged as a leader on a Placer team loaded with standout seniors. “He’s one of the hardest workers on the team and he’s really matured,” Montoya said. “He’s a leader. Every day at practice he’s giving his best effort. We didn’t give him the ball much last week and one of the greatest signs I saw was he was the happiest I’ve ever seen him after a win. He could care less about his stats.” Even with a five-carry, zero-yard game against Bear River, Gotzmer’s stats are still spectacular. He’s rushed 80 times for 931 yards this season, an average of 11.6 yards per carry. He’s got 13 rushing touchdowns and another three on passes from quarterback Collin Burnett. Stanley did not play football last year. He was expelled from the Phoenix School — a continuation school in Lincoln — before being homeschooled for the rest of the year. He enrolled at Lincoln over the summer and has thrived in the Zebras’ suddenly explosive offense. “It’s like, I feel kind of relieved and I feel that I belong on this team,” Stanley told the Lincoln News-Messenger earlier this month. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wingback has amassed 555 yards on 59 carries, averaging 9.4 yards a carry. He’s got seven TDs on the ground and another four receiving. Montoya said Stanley’s running ability jumped out at him on film. “He’s a lot like Asher — he’s very explosive,” Montoya said. “Moses Stanley’s a great player.” Since he made his varsity debut as a sophomore, Gotzmer knew he’d have to work to gain strength if he wanted to be an effective running back. “I worked really hard to get stronger and put on some weight,” said Gotzmer, who is now, 6-1, 180 pounds. “Our whole team has excelled in the weight room. We’ve got a great weights program and we have fun in there.” Gotzmer’s lack of size might keep him from playing running back in college, but Montoya said several schools, including UC Davis, have inquired about him. He could play wide receiver or defensive back — where he’s also a standout for the Hillmen. “It think he’s got a chance to play receiver or DB, but he’s proven he can be a great running back,” Montoya said. “I think he’d be a great scatback for any team. He’s got a bright future.”