Zebras fall just short vs. Wheatland, lost 21-20

By: Galen Kusic
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On an early season homecoming in Lincoln, things didn’t go quite as planned - as the Zebras lost a heartbreaker 21-20 to the Wheatland High Pirates Friday night. After getting down 21-6 at the half, the Zebras stormed their way back in the third, forcing a Pirates three-and-out. It became a trend, as Wheatland would not score again the rest of the night. “We had a few defensive changes on our spread,” Lincoln head coach Ken Lowe said. “That forced them to go back to their wing T, and that’s what we’ve been going over all week. Once we put the changes in on the spread we shut ‘em down and they couldn’t run their base offense.” With 7:13 left in the third quarter, Zebras’ running back Tim Bevins broke from 15 yards out, running over a Wheatland defender into the end zone to close the Pirate lead to 21-14. The Zebras continued to make stops and then Raymond Caster took over. First, he set up Lincoln with a 25-yard punt return down to the Wheatland 38. He then rushed for 28 yards on three carries before punching it in from the one to make the score 21-20. Lowe optioned to go for the two-point conversion, but the Zebras were stopped at the one and eventually fumbled. There was still 6:45 left on the clock, but Wheatland managed to run the clock down to 1:28 when Lincoln got the ball back on their own 15-yard line. “I thought, let’s go for it – get the ball back and have some time to put another score on the board,” Lowe said. “We had to turn to our passing game with two minutes left to play – I think if we could have had time to pound the ball in and out, we could have put another score on the board.” After four incomplete passes from quarterback Tyler Freymond, the game was decided with Lincoln on the short end. Freymond had an efficient game, going 6-13 for 85 yards. Lincoln combined for 259 yards total offense, 174 on the ground. Alex Cowden rushed for 66 yards in the loss. Lincoln will take on Division-1 Monterey Trail next Friday in Elk Grove at 7:30 pm.