Jr. Zebras’ young guns still blazingBy: Greg Easter/Courtesy
ANTELOPE – With playoff implications in the balance, the Lincoln Jr. Zebras put forth their best effort against the Jr. Titans. Lincoln came up just short of a sweep Saturday, losing two games in the afternoon, but the young teams carried the morning.
Although USA Youth Football does not score these contests, there is a postseason Mighty Mite Bowl game. The Jr. Titans proved to be worthy foes, but the Jr. Zebras were up to the task.
Lincoln’s youngest squad has broken the plane of the end zone more times than any of their opponents this season and is essentially undefeated. That should bode well going into the round-robin playoff format.
The Jr. Zebras carried the momentum of last week’s win against the Titans and rolled to a 28-0 shutout victory.
Devin Sherman rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries; running mate Jake Wagner also scored.
Quarterback J.T. Willis connected with tight end Colby Easter for a 6-yard score and the defense did the rest.
Turner Bloxsom and Easter took away the corners forcing Antelope to go inside, but it didn’t help. Ethan Rappa and Jason Johnston both tackled Jr. Titans’ ball carriers in the end zone for safeties.
Lincoln had 228 yards of offense and the defense held Antelope to minus 63 yards.
The victory put a lock on the Jr. Zebras’ Sierra Valley USA Playoffs invite, where they could again meet Antelope.
The Jr. Zebras held on to their No. 1 position in the North Division by blanking the Jr. Titans 18-0. Lincoln is tied with Oakmont for first place and will invade the Jr. Vikings’ turf in its final game of the season.
However, the win gave the Jr. Zebras a first-round bye in the postseason regardless of what happens this weekend.
Lincoln’s offense wasn’t that explosive against Antelope, but the defense made that a non-issue picking up their fourth shutout of the season.
It continued to be that kind of season in which the Jr. Zebras again came up a score short. The Jr. Titans took advantage of their visitor’s mistakes for a 14-6 win.
Lincoln’s Luke Wiley threw a touchdown pass to Deven Coffer, but that would be the end of the Jr. Zebras scoring. The offense was plagued by penalties and turnovers, stalling their efforts to score.
The Zebras’ defense shut down Antelope in the second half, but couldn’t overcome the Jr. Titans’ first-half lead.
Still, the Jr. Zebras made the playoffs and it appears they will play Bear River’s Jr. Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. That game is scheduled to be played Oct. 26.
While the PeeWees matchup against Oakmont is significant, it is even more significant for the Jr. Zebras Midgets. The winner of that game will likely advance to the playoffs and the loser will have to spend that time thinking about next year.
Lincoln took its opening drive down to the Jr. Titans goal line, where they were denied a touchdown. That proved to be the difference, as Antelope went on to win 13-6.
Lincoln scored when Zach Eutsey found Connor Manley in the end zone for a touchdown pass. Although Eutsey and Miguel Estrada had strong games on both offense and defense, the Zebras could not produce another score.
If Lincoln defeats Oakmont Saturday, it’s likely the Jr. Zebras will be matched up against either Bear River or Del Campo in the playoffs. Should the Zebras lose, it would be their last game of 2013.
The Midgets will play at 3 p.m. on the road against Oakmont. The Jr. Vikings do not have a Jr. Midgets club, so the Midgets game was moved up two hours.
The Mighty Mites will get things started at 9 a.m. and the Jr. PeeWees will follow at 11. The 1 p.m. game will feature a showdown for first place between the PeeWee division leading Jr. Zebras against the Jr. Vikings.
JR ZEBRAS FOOTBALL
Lincoln at Antelope, Oct. 12
Division Lincoln Antelope
Jr. PeeWee 28 0
Pee Wee 18 0
Jr. Midget 6 14
Midget 6 13