Jr. Zebras earn split with Roseville Jr. Tigers
ROSEVILLE _ Three Lincoln Jr. Zebras’ teams made the Sierra Valley USA Playoffs with one earning the top seed Saturday. The Mitey Mites will host a postseason tournament this Saturday.
The Lincoln defense allowed two scores while the Jr. Zebras’ Devon Henry had three touchdowns. Shane Mabberley and Kaleb Bacus both had one; Bacus’ was a 60-yard run.
The blocking was provided by Karson Seaman and Jakob Hamilton. Bacus recovered a fumble and Aiden Newberry gathered in two. John Andes had a sack.
Saturday’s bowl games begin at 7:30 a.m. with 14 teams. Two games are played at a time using one half the field for each. It’s two-game elimination with a champion being crowned by noon.
Lincoln came in undefeated and Roseville was fighting for a playoff berth.
Defenses took control with the Jr. Zebras’ Seth Sampson plugging the middle and Cole Vineyard and Co. shutting down the outside. The half ended in a scoreless tie.
After shifting play to the Jr. Tigers’ side of the field, Chase Freeman led the defense in holding Roseville to a four and out. Lincoln’s offense went to work with blockers Ryan Blaine and Dominic Spence leading Nick Miller into the end zone for six.
On Lincoln's next possession, Malachi Nelson scored to make it 12-0.
After Sampson gave Lincoln a turnover, Miller went 27 yards to seal an 18-0 victory.
The PeeWees will play No. 2 Antelope Saturday at a site to be determined.
The Jr. Zebras couldn’t move a stubborn Roseville club and fell 12-0.
The Jr. Tigers scored following an interception to lead 6-0. Lincoln’s Anthony Salustro ended a Roseville drive with a pick to end the half.
The Jr. Zebras’ quarterback Kyle Easter and receiver Deven Coffer moved the ball through the air but couldn’t get it across the plane of the goal.
With the winner earning a No. 3 berth, Lincoln struck for the only first-half score when Ryan Graham went wide right for a touchdown.
In the second half, Roseville scored and added the kick for an 8-6 lead.
Preston Eklund then blocked a Jr. Tigers’ punt to set up a score. Graham followed Dawson Nichols and Cole Guadarrama in for the TD. Tyler Eslinger added the kick for a 14-8 Lincoln lead.
Later, Eslinger gathered in an Eklund pass to put the ball on Roseville’s 5-yard line. Eslinger then gave the Jr. Zebras a 17-8 lead with a 19-yard field goal.
Eklund came back to snare a Jr. Tigers’ pass and race 68 yard to add another six and give his club a 23-8 win.
The Jr. Midgets will open the playoffs against Del Campo.
A powerful Roseville team did not disappointed Jr. Tigers’ fans as they rolled to 42-0 win over the Jr. Zebras.
Top Lincoln players were Kyle Dunn who forced a bad pass intercepted by Chase Rose. Charles Middleton also had a good game.
Good luck to those Jr. Zebras who now move on to high school football.
Should the Jr. PeeWees, PeeWees and Jr. Midgets win this week in the SVUSA Playoffs, they will enter the championship games Nov. 3. Game locations to be either Roseville or Granite Bay.
For more information visit jrzebras.com.
Greg Easter is a Jr. Zebras’ coach and News Messenger contributorOUT