By Josh Levine
Behind the play of running backs Malik Ngumezi and Travelle Johnson, Marshall High School defeated Lincoln 14-6 in Academic Athletic Association play on Saturday at San Francisco School of the Arts.
It was the Phoenix’s (1-4, 1-1) first varsity football win since 2004, but came without head coach Kamon Pierce, who missed the game for personal reasons.
Marshall accumulated 263 total yards, with 243 of those coming on the ground.
“We got a lot of help from our offensive line today,” said assistant coach Greg Espy. “Today is a great day for us. We had an awesome week of practice and we came out ready to play.”
The Mustangs (0-6, 0-2) were without starting running back Lazare Gubeladze, who injured his knee in last week’s loss to Washington. Gubeladze is expected to return for Lincoln’s next game against Balboa.
Senior captain Robert Davis took over for Gubeladze, but the Mustangs were held to just 78 total yards and nine yards rushing.
The win is especially disheartening for Lincoln, which is one year removed from a Turkey Day appearance and two years removed from four consecutive AAA championships.
“They just played better than us,” said Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno. “We’re still trying to figure out who we are as a team. This isn’t the Lincoln teams of the past, but everyone wants to beat us.”
Both Ngumezi and Johnson scored a touchdown for the Phoenix. The two of them combined for 201 out of the Phoenix’s 243 rushing yards.
“We needed today man,” Ngumezi said. “Our practice was great this week. We changed some things up, got rid of guys who were only hurting us and we worked super hard. We’re better than our record, honestly.”
M: 8:42 — Malik Ngumezi 6-yard run (Travelle Johnson run on conversion)
L: 3:01 — Nick Neutall 12-yard pass from Derek Morrell (Conversion failed)
M: 6:53 — Johnson 30-yard run (Conversion failed)