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Center spoils Lincoln senior night with 41-20 victory

Last game emotions fill post game
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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Center High School was a little too quick, a step too fast, and had just enough of a passing attack to keep Lincoln’s football team off balance and come away with a 41-20 win, Friday. Cougars’ running back Bellaire D’Juan was simply too elusive for the Fighting Zebras defense as he repeatedly broke tackles for long gains. He had 102 yard in the first quarter, and totaled 243 by game’s end. He also had runs of 18, 23, 44, and 63 yards; two went for touchdowns. “You’ve got to hand it to them, (D’Juan) was very good,” said Lincoln head coach Ken Lowe. “Missed tackles was a big part. Several times I thought we had him in the backfield and he scampered down the sidelines.” As frustrating as D’Juan was for the Zebras’ defense, Lincoln also couldn’t make it up on offense. Senior running back Isaac Allen was held to negative yardage in the first quarter, and finished the night with 38. However, the total yards he gained belied how hard he worked to earn them. Allen came limping off the field early in the fourth quarter, but did return. Senior quarterback Jake Gomez had a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jon Soto, and threw for 102 yards on the night. But he was sacked twice for a combined loss of 25 yards. Gomez, who relies on his legs as much as his arm, gained only 14 yards on the ground. Center quarterback Tyrel Anderson threw sparingly, but was effective when he connected. He totaled just 78 yards, but two of his passes went for touchdowns. It was a difficult season for the Fighting Zebras. The club finished 2-8 on the year, and 1-4 in league. After an encouraging victory over Foothill, 55-17, to open Pioneer Valley League play, they failed to win another game. But in spite of it all, they never quit trying. But losing wasn’t the emotional part; that came when the seniors had to say goodbye to teammates after the game. One of those was lineman Marty Morris, who has been playing with many of his teammates since he was 8 years old. “Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we went over a lot of adversity this year with our losing a really close friend of mine, and of this team,” Morris said. “And we just had a lot of things to overcome and we never gave up. We always came to every game trying hard. We just ended up losing and had a losing record.” Morris also had some terrific advice for future Fighting Zebras. “Workout hard every day and realize what you’ve got,” Morris said. “If you don’t realize that there’s no reason to be on a football field. You need to know what you have and play for it. You’re a family, and keep going and play hard.” That was something Lincoln never failed to do. Lowe said it was difficult saying goodbye to his seniors, although he has to do it every year. However, he’s known players like Morris since the senior played in the youth leagues, and felt badly the team had such a rough season. However, Lowe said it would soon be time to start thinking about the 2012 season and getting ready to do it all over again. JV _ The Lincoln junior varsity used a strong running game to trample the Cougars, 30-6. Fighting Zebras’ running back Frankie Welch had three rushing touchdowns of 42, 26, and 26 yards. Aaron Soto had a 30-yard TD run, and quarterback Joshua Pisik had a touchdown pass of 80 yards to Matt Shirley. Pisik also passed to Marcus Harris for a 2-point conversion, and linemen-converted-to-running backs Christian Long and Jesse Clay each scored on rushing extra points. Following the game, head JV coach Wayne Paul spoke about the club’s 5-5 record, 3-2 in the PVL. “We started off pretty slow because we were missing quite a few bodies,” Paul said. “Honestly, a lot of turnovers this year. But I think we got momentum. This team lost a tough one to Bear River, but they never put their heads down.”