Placer’s early lead too much to overcome for Zebras

Hillmen score 22 in first quarter
By: Todd Mordhorst Auburn Journal Sports Editor
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AUBURN _ Coming off a big win over Foothill in their Pioneer Valley League opener, Lincoln High’s football team was looking to keep its playoff hopes alive with an upset of Placer High School, Friday; it didn’t happen. The Hillmen came into the game with a 5-1 record, and 1-0 in league. They opened PVL play last week with a hard-fought victory over Bear River, 10-6. Fighting Zebras head coach Ken Lowe knew his club could be in for a long night, even after his club had destroyed the Mustangs the week before, 55-17. “We still know we have a big mountain to climb,” said Lowe, looking ahead to the game. “Placer is definitely good. We’re going to have to play even better than we did against Foothill.” Lincoln wasn’t able to do that as Placer rolled to a 49-18 victory over the Zebras. The win left the Hillmen tied at the top of the league standings with Colfax. The Falcons are 7-0, and 2-0 in the PVL. There was no containing the Hillmen as they ran wild. Senior Joe Mangino had a breakout game with 175 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. Brad Spangler added 168 yards and two TDs on just seven carries. “Once we get to league, we know every game is a battle,” Placer senior center Mike Stangland said. “We’re focused on every game. We’ll be focused on Center and Foothill, just like we are for Colfax and Bear River.” Lincoln’s difficulties started in the early going when it was pinned on its 1-yard line following a Placer punt. The Hillmen were able to pick up two points with a sack resulting in a safety, and that broke open the game. By the end of the first quarter, Placer added to their lead by rushing for three touchdowns giving them a 22-0 bulge over the visitors. The Zebras’ defense was able to slow the Hillmen in the second quarter, but Placer held a commanding 29-0 lead by intermission. The blue-and-gold did drive down to Placer’s 3-yard line in the second quarter, but a false start penalty and two straight sacks by the Hillmens’ Colton Davenport ended the scoring threat. “Their defense is really tough,” Lowe said of Placer. “We were in a position where we had to score every possession and they just tired our defense out. Our defense played OK, they just kept them on the field.” The Zebras’ star tailback Isaac Allen was held to 131 yards on 14 carries. The previous week, Allen rushed for 252 yards on the same number of rushes. Placer’s defensive player Tony Suverkropp said his club knew Lincoln’s running backs were good, but that the Hillmen defense was able to counter the Zebras’ offensive line. Lincoln did hold it own in the second half, but was unable to overcome the home club’s early lead. _ News Messenger Sports Editor Jim Linsdau contributed to this report Placer 49, Lincoln 19 Zebras 0 0 12 6 – 19 Hillmen 22 7 13 7 – 49 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS PASSING Lincoln – J Gomez 0-3. Placer – P Denham 4-14, 80. RUSHING Lincoln – J Tayeh 5-83, I Allen 14-131, D Dykstra 1-7, J Soto 8-20, J Alberron 6-18, 1, J Gomez 10-164, 1, A Torres 1-6. Placer – C Sabins 1-7, P Denham 2-17, J Mangino 17-170, 3, B Packheiser 2-3, B Spangler 7-169, 2, M Robinson 2-5, W Slane 6-72 2. RECEIVING Lincoln – 0-0. Placer J Mangino 2-21, T Ayala 1-43, I Brahce 1-16.