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Zebras fall to Falcons 21-10 in season finale

By: Galen Kusic Special to The News Messenger
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It was a game that summed up the Lincoln High Zebras football season – with the visiting Colfax Falcons coming out on top in a rough, smash-mouth battle that found Lincoln on the short end, 21-10. Colfax’s trio of senior quarterback Spencer Lewis, junior running back Pat Rawlins and senior wide receiver Jeff Devine proved to be too much down the stretch for the Zebras. Lincoln got on the board early, as Matt Paul scored on the ground to put the Zebras up 10-7. But it was all Falcons from there. Lewis hooked up with Devine all night on critical third-down situations, including a 35-yard touchdown pass across the middle to put Colfax on top 14-10 at the half. Lincoln threatened several times after gaining great field position off turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize twice in the redzone. Lincoln quarterback Tyler Freymond was picked off twice at the goal line – once by Mike Davis near the end of the first half, and by Eric Talso in the fourth quarter after Lincoln recovered a fumble on the Colfax 29. Lincoln also turned the ball over on downs twice in the game, once on the Colfax 33. It followed the Zebras trend all year - so close but yet so far. “They really showed their potential tonight,” Lincoln head coach Ken Lowe said. “We had them on the ropes, it was tough to finish - they were a very good team. We had a shot in the fourth quarter, and that’s all I can ask of them. They played hard, and I’m really proud of them. This team can really compete. We were so close. Every game we had a shot at it.” With 3:45 to go, Rawlins scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out on a sweep to the outside to put Colfax on top 21-10 for good. Lincoln marched down the field again, but turned the ball over on downs as the Falcons ran out the clock. “We worked together every play – we didn’t stop and gave it our best every play,” Lincoln junior running back Ray Caster said. “We all thought we’d have a winning record coming into the season. Next year us juniors are going to have to step it up.” Lincoln may have ended the season 1-9, but by watching this team no one would know it. Coaches and players throughout the region have shown respect for a team that has had more than its share of bad luck this season. “We got exactly what we expected from Lincoln – a great football game,” Colfax head coach Tony Martello said. “They turned the ball over a little bit down the stretch – that hurt them. But they were right there.” The win secured the third and final playoff spot from the PVL for Colfax (6-4, 3-3). “We did some stuff wrong, but a win is a win,” Devine said. “We’ll take it every time. Lincoln didn’t have the best season, but they fought pretty hard tonight.” As for Lincoln, the future is bright with many returning players to the squad next season. “We installed a new offense this year and we’ll take things into the off-season,” Lowe said. “We build off this for next year. We’ll get bigger and stronger and come out next year. We’re looking forward to it.”