Jr. Zebras have a strong day against Del Campo

Jr. Midgets extend shutout streak to 20 quarters
By: Greg Easter Courtesy/Lincoln Jr. Zebras
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The Lincoln Jr. Zebras returned home after three away games and celebrated by defending their home field in three of four scored games against the Del Campo Jr. Cougars. A cool September day was greeted with warm enthusiasm by Jr. Zebra supporters glad to be rooting for their football and cheer teams in the friendly confines of Lincoln High School after a long stint away. The day began with the Mighty Mites in a well-played defensive battle versus the Jr. Cougars. Jack Nilsson had a 10-yard touchdown scamper and Zach Chamizo followed a legion of blockers into the end zone for the decisive extra point. The Mighty Mite “white” offense reeled off a 14-play drive in the second quarter to highlight the day and the defense stood strong down the stretch. The Jr. PeeWees continued their winning ways by methodically disposing of the Jr. Cougars by a final score of 35-0. The Jr. PeeWees started a stalwart defensive effort by Lincoln's three mid-aged teams keeping the Jr. Cougars scoreless through three games and 12 quarters. The solid defense allowed Lincoln’s offense to get five different players into the end zone. Nick Miller, Grady Manley, Ernie Cuevas, and Jacob Lemus all had touchdown runs, while Kyle Easter connected with Devin Coffer on a touchdown pass. The PeeWees continued Lincoln's defensive excellence by harassing Del Campo all day long. The PeeWees played solid team defense as Del Campo found the going tough both inside and out. Ryan Graham scored on an inside run, and he and Pete Murrillo were both able to get around the end for touchdowns. Tyler Eslinger connected on all three extra point kicks for the final count of 24 - 0. “You don’t have to be a highly talented team when you’ve got everybody working together,” said PeeWees head coach Dana Graham. “We’ve had these boys for five or six years now, they’re fundamentally sound so now we’re fine tuning them and making them real good football players.” The story of the 2011 Jr. Zebras organization is quickly becoming the defensive effort week-in and week-out of the Jr. Midgets team. Through five games they have not allowed a single point. Del Campo had plans to attack the Jr. Zebras but was unable to do anything via the ground or through the air. Eli Garcia continued his excellent stewardship by connecting on two touchdown passes. Key to Garcia’s success is solid line play by his offensive front and pick-up blocks by his backfield. The defensive front was vital, as well, in the 30-0 victory. “Our defense; really good defense,” said Jr. Midgets head coach Charles Middleton in explaining his clubs success so far this season. “We’re now kind of reaping the benefits of their years of hard work.” Middleton also credited his coaching staff, which has been together for more than five years. The Midgets continue to draw tough opponents. After facing a Placer team that was tied for first last week, this week they drew the team Placer was tied with. The Jr. Cougars wasted no time showing why they are tied for first by recovering the opening kickoff and going up top for a quick touchdown. The Jr. Zebras played with spirit, but in the end Del Campo had just too much as they went on to win, 42-10. The Jr. Zebras will enjoy their second of three successive home games this Saturday when the Jr. Wolves of Woodland come rolling into town. Three of Woodland’s four teams are in the top half of the Sierra Valley-USA standings, with their PeeWees alone in first, and the Jr. Midgets tied with Lincoln for the No. 1 spot. All the action begins Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Mighty Mites game. A game follows every two hours by the Jr. PeeWees, PeeWees, and Jr. Midget games; the Midgets kickoff the nightcap at 5. Additional reporting by Jim Linsdau/News Messenger Sports Editor