Jr. Midgets, PeeWees advance to championship games

Jr. PeeWees, Mitey Mites, and Midgets fall
By: Greg Easter Lincoln Jr. Zebras
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The Lincoln Jr. Zebras Jr. Midgets and PeeWees moved forward, last Saturday, in the Sierra Valley USA Football Playoffs and will compete in the championship games in there respective divisions in Roseville, Saturday. Suffering their only defeat during the regular season against Granite Bay’s Jr. Grizzlies, the Lincoln PeeWees were determined not to let that happen again – and they didn’t. Ryan Graham scored two touchdowns, and Preston Eklund one, for the victory. “Our running backs were great, but this game was won on both sides of the ball by our stellar line play,” said PeeWees’ coach Dana Graham. Graham cited Matt Brown, Greden MacFarland, and Cole Guadarrama for their work in the trenches. The Jr. Zebras PeeWees will head to Roseville, Saturday, for the championship game against Woodland. During the regular season, the Lincoln club came back from a 14-0 deficit to defeat the Jr. Wolves, 16-14. Game time is 1 p.m., Roseville High School. The Jr. Midgets came steamrolling into their semifinal matchup against Woodland in round one, but found Woodland was up to the challenge. It was a well-played contest. The Jr. Zebras jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead, but the Jr. Wolves fought back to close the gap to 14-13 in the third quarter. After regaining possession of the ball, the Jr. Zebras spread the ball around to drive into Woodland territory in quarter four. After a series of penalties and setbacks, Lincoln found themselves with a fourth-and-13 at the Jr. Wolves’ 16-yard line. That set the stage for the play of the game – and perhaps the season. Quarterback Eli Garcia had to elude a pass rush by scrambling out of the pocket. That gave Jeffrey Jones time to get open in the end zone where Garcia found him for a Lincoln touchdown. Moises Huerta converted the 2-point kick to give the Jr. Midgets a 22-13, virtually insurmountable, lead with time running out. Woodland would again score, but the Jr. Zebras were able to run out the clock for a 22-19 triumph The Jr. Midgets will face Roseville, 3 p.m. Saturday, for the SVUSA Championship. Lincoln downed the Jr. Tigers 24-0 during the season. Should they again win, they will have concluded the season undefeated. The Jr. PeeWees had hoped to avenge a regular season loss to Roseville’s Jr. Tigers in their semifinal matchup, but it was not to be. The game was hard fought, but Lincoln turnovers would keep the Jr. Zebras out of Roseville’s end zone. That allowed the Jr. Tigers to claim a 19-0 win. In a consolation bowl, the Jr. Zebras Mitey Mites dropped the opening round of a double-elimination round robin to Woodland, 7-0. With hearts of Fighting Zebras, the Lincoln squad then defeated Del Campo, 13-6, Placer, 13-0, and Roseville in a tiebreaker. But, the long road to the championship proved too long. The Jr. Zebras fell to Nevada Union to finish fourth in the bowl series. The Mitey Mites could return 17 players next year if all eligible return for 2012. It was reported the Jr. Zebras Midgets lost a last-second heartbreaker in their bid for a consolation bowl victory. Greg Easter is a Jr. Zebras football coach