Lincoln homecoming goes to Colfax 36-35

Zebras’ at Center Friday
By: Jim Linsdau of The News Messenger
-A +A

Raining on one’s parade can come in many forms and so it did in Lincoln on a cool and wet Friday night as the Fighting Zebras’ football homecoming was spoiled 36-35.

In perhaps one of the most dramatic finishes so far this football season, Colfax scored from 1-yard out with just seconds remaining in the game for the victory. Still, Lincoln came back to almost salvage their homecoming on the final play of the contest.

After an alert Taras Zbyshko downed the following kickoff at the Fighting Zebras’ 39-yard line with 6.5 seconds on the clock. Lincoln quarterback Isaac Adams hit running back Ryan Graham with a flat pass that No. 21 nearly took to the house.

As time expired, Graham ran the ball to the Falcons’ 7-yard line before being tackled.

Colfax head coach Tony Martello said he ranked the game in the top five of the great finishes he has been a part of.

“Having to tackle that great player (Graham) on the 10-yard line on the last play, wow;” Martello said, “it was a great call by (Lincoln coach Chris) Bean to throw it underneath and let (Graham) do what he does and let our guys try to tackle him, but we got it done. That was amazing.”

The entire game was amazing. Neither team took more than an eight-point lead at anytime.

Lincoln held a 28-20 edge late in the second quarter, but the Falcons marched 73 yards to score with 13 seconds left to close within one, 28-27.

To begin the third period, Colfax kicked a field goal to lead 30-28. Lincoln came back with an Isaac Adams to Greden McFarlin 30-yard pass to take back the lead 35-30.

But that set the stage for a defensive battle in the fourth quarter and the dramatic finish that came with less than 10 seconds left in the game.

Colfax ran 81 plays in the game to Lincoln’s 46.

Graham scored on runs of 69 and 52 yards, and a 66-yard pass. He finished the night with 223 yards on 13 carries and caught four passes for 162 more yards.

Adams was 8-for-13 passing for 212 yards and no interceptions.

Charles Middleton had another 20-plus tackles night with 21; Alex Benavidez had 15 and Dominic Sanders a dozen.

Gabe Thomas and Darrius Bunger combined for a sack and Sanders had an interception. Julian Diaz was 5-5 on PATs and had five touchbacks on six kickoffs.

This Week

In what might have been a meeting of two undefeated Pioneer Valley League teams this Friday will now be a battle for the No. 2 spot, assuming Placer (2-0) beats Foothill (0-2).

Lincoln and Center will both square off at 1-1, after each lost by just one point last week. The Cougars were stung by the Hillmen 16-15. Bear River and Colfax are also 1-1.

Center is 5-2, outscoring opponents 27-13. But the overall win-loss record of the seven teams they’ve played is 22-29.

Three teams from the PVL will get automatic bids for the playoffs.

JV – Lincoln High’s Grady Manley ran the ball in from 4-yards out to score, but it only prevented a Colfax shutout, 34-6.

Returning head coach Wayne Paul said adjusting to a new group of assistant coaches has slowed the team’s progress, but said the pieces are beginning to fall into place.

“Basically, it’s like starting from scratch getting the coaches to work together. We’ve got about 8-9 (players) going both ways so that’s a struggle for us,” Paul said. “This game we knew it would be a tough one for us. We’re going to work on things one game at a time; there’s always tomorrow.”