Lincoln Zebras open 2012 football campaign Friday

Zebras entertain Natomas
By: Joshua Gutierrez/News Messenger Correspondent
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The Lincoln High School Fighting Zebras will start their season with a familiar rival when hosting the Natomas Nighthawks Aug. 31. For the third straight year, the Zebras will play the Nighthawks in an early-season matchup. Lincoln has the upper hand in the rivalry winning the two previous meetings. In 2010, the Zebras won by seven, 28-21. Last year, the Nighthawks played host in Sacramento and fell 33-6 giving up 352 yards on the ground. Senior fullback Jordan Tayeh, who played in last year’s game, hopes to repeat the club’s five rushing touchdowns. Tayeh had a 42-yard score in that game. On defense, the Zebras were nothing short of smothering. Nighthawks’ quarterback Joe Grinstain was unable to get away from a superb pass rush as seven separate players tackled him for a loss. Natomas completed only two passes for 37 yards in the contest. Nineteen Zebras recorded tackles in that game, with then senior Anthony Landry leading the way with 10. To repeat, Lincoln will have to do it without the services of seven seniors who graduated from that defense. Natomas was winless in 2011. The Nighthawks scored seven points or less in half their games. A staggering statistic they will need to change as opponents outscored them by nearly 250 points last season. JV The Fighting Zebras are 1-1 against Natomas. Last year’s 20-12 loss included a 99-yard pass play by the Nighthawks. Although Lincoln rushed for more than 200 yards in the contest, Natomas answered with two TD passes of over 60 yards each. What: Lincoln Football 2012 Season Opener Who: Natomas Nighthawks vs. Lincoln Fighting Zebras When: Friday, Aug. 31, Varsity 7:30/JV 5:30 pm Where: Edward Alexander Grey Sports Complex – Lincoln Stadium Freshman Game – Today, 5:30 p.m., Lincoln High School