Lincoln News Messenger(Nov. 19, 2008): Lincoln’s JV football team wraps up 9-1 campaign

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger


Lincoln’s junior varsity football team went 9-1 this season, staging dramatic comebacks to defeat Bear River and Colfax in its final two games. The Zebras only loss of the season came against visiting Placer on Oct. 31 as the Hillmen (9-1, 6-0 in the Pioneer Valley League) won 21-14. Lincoln topped visiting Colfax 15-14 in its season finale. The Zebras were down 14-0 with 8:30 left in the game and they came all the way back to win. Lincoln quarterback Christian Perkins ran in a touchdown with just over two minutes left and coach Wayne Paul went for the 2-point conversion. “I would rather take the loss and go for the win – a tie is to practice all week for nothing,” Paul said. Perkins passed to running back Tyler Morgan on a slant to give Lincoln the lead. The Zebras defense then held Colfax to negative yards on the ensuing possession. Lincoln topped visiting Bear River 22-21 a week earlier after trailing by nine points midway through the fourth quarter. Morgan scored on a run to bring the Zebras close and Josh Hunt converted a 20-yard field goal with just over two minutes left to win the game. Lincoln’s defense, like it did against Colfax, held the Bruins to negative yards on their final possession. Morgan led the Zebras with 13 touchdowns; seven on the ground and six receiving while Oscar Fernandez led the team with 700 rushing yards. Anthony Esparza also rushed for 457 yards. Lincoln’s top rushing game of the season came against Whitney when the Zebras gained 447 yards on the ground and won 19-6. Perkins ran in three touchdowns and threw for 12 touchdowns and 705 yards. His top receivers were Anthony Latu and Michael Holt. “It was just an exceptional year,” Paul said. “You see the kids down like they were (in the last two games) and after we scored and took the lead my defense probably played the best they have played all year in the last two minutes of those games.” Defensive back Demetris Smith (three interceptions), linebackers Calvin Sunia-Mafilieo and Thomas Little (led team in tackles), defensive tackle Justin Costigan and play-everything defender Bobby Humiston were among the defensive leaders for the Zebras. Sunia-Mafilieo really impressed Paul. “He is an exceptional kid and one of the best kids I’ve ever had to coach and just a team player,” Paul said. “He listened to everything I said.” Paul had a small coaching staff consisting of defensive coordinator Al Soto, line coach Marty Morris and receiver and linebacker coach Matt Soto. “My assistant coaches were amazing,” Paul said. “It was a great year and a great group of kids to coach and I’m going to miss them and that’s the unfortunate thing when you have players for just one year. We emphasized being a family and that’s what we were.” Paul predicts that the varsity squad, which went 1-9 this season, will improve in the immediate future. This year’s JV group also went 8-2 last year as freshmen. “With the juniors that will be seniors next year I see (the varsity) definitely improving and I’m willing to bet that a lot of my players will fight for spots to start,” Paul said. “I see at least a .500 or 6-4 season if I had to put my money on it but it’s the following year that I am really curious to see. The freshmen were 5-5 this year and three of those five losses were games they could have easily won. I see a lot of inspiration in these kids – and losing is not an option.”

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