Football: Washington comes on late to beat Lincoln in AAA semifinals

Washington senior running back Lajarie Mabrey works his way through the Lincoln defense in the AAA semifinals on Thursday at Washington High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Bonta Hill

For the first 33 minutes, it looked as though Lincoln High School would make it five straight years in which an upset occurred in the Academic Athletic Association semifinals.

But spurred by two second half turnovers by the visiting Mustangs, defending champion Washington overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit and advanced to their second-consecutive AAA championship with a 21-10 victory on Thursday.

Lincoln junior running back Demetrius Williams turns the corner against Washington in the AAA semifinals on Thursday at Washington High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“I tell the guys all the time that nothing is going to be easy, and I told them at halftime we didn’t really need to fix anything other than to just play harder,” said Washington head coach Karl Finley. “We’re going back to another Turkey Day and it’s kind of surreal.”

Washington’s (9-2) big-play running game was held in check most of the day and was limited to 228 yards of total offense, but got the first of two huge breaks with three minutes left in the third quarter.

The Mustangs (4-7) were forced to punt from their own 30-yard line, but punter Collin Luu couldn’t handle a low snap and the ball rolled all the way back to the Lincoln 2-yard line, where Washington recovered.

Two plays later, Washington senior running back Jamie McHenry scored on a 6-yard toss to put Washington up 14-10.

Lincoln wasn’t done, as the Mustangs drove inside the Washington 20-yard line behind the legs of junior running back Demetrius Williams, who rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown in the game.

But early in the fourth quarter, with Lincoln threatening at the Washington 17-yard line, free safety Charles Murray forced Williams to fumble with a hit at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles recovered the fumble and never looked back.

Washington took the ensuing drive 81 yards for a score, capped by an 11-yard touchdown run from senior Lajarie Mabrey.

“I’m not worried about it. Our kids played their asses off,” said Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno. “The punt and the fumble, things like that happened all year long for us, but hats off to Washington for a well-played game.”

The Washington defense swarms Lincoln running back Demetrius Williams in the AAA semifinals on Thursday at Washington High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Ferrigno hugged his players after the game for the effort they put forth on the year, as they were a game away from the championship game after a winless 2010 season.

“[I’m] really happy with the commitment the kids made [this year], but I feel bad for our seniors, because it would have been great for them to go to Turkey Day,” Ferrigno said. “We’ll keep growing and keep getting after it next season.”

Th Washington defense held Lincoln to 178 yards of offense and will take on Mission in the championship. The Eagles beat the Bears 28-7 in their only regular-season meeting.

“It was a lot of obstacles to overcome this year, but we’ve been finishing strong,” Finley said. “This is our fourth Turkey Day appearance in five years. Hopefully we can finish this season just as strong.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
W: 3:14 — Lajarie Mabrey 15-yard run (Adam Badi kick good)

Second Quarter
L: 5:20 — Demetrius Williams 1-yard run (Williams run on conversion)
L: 5:18 — Safety

Third Quarter
W: 2:13 — Jamie McHenry 6-yard run (Badi kick good)

Fourth Quarter
W: 4:43 — Mabrey 11-yard run (Badi kick good)

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10 Comments

  1. GCJ01 says:

    Washington vs. Mission pt. 2 should be a great match for Turkey Day. Good luck to both schools!

    • W-HOUSE says:

      You mean good luck to weak Mission…… cuz they abouta need it!!!!
      WASH HOUSE ALL DAY!

      MY PREDICTION
      WASH 40- 0 mission

      • Anonymous says:

        mannn idk mission got some pretty good players and hard hitters man its gonna be a tough game for both teams mission just gotta play hard and cant give up

        GO BEARS!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        wow are u serious 40 – 0 ?? must clearly be a wash player losing his mind

      • Anonymous says:

        Easier said than done. Come playoff time everyone comes to play, everyone kicks it up a notch. I am from Mission have some friends from both sides. Let the better team win. It will be a good game =)

      • GCJ01 says:

        W-HOUSE: Be careful what you say. Yes, Wash won in the regular season, but the playoffs are a whole new season. Your 40-0 Wash victory should be reconsidered. In all honesty, I think Mission will win the game.

  2. Unknown says:

    wash is going to underestimate Mission an Mission is going to come out with the BIG W an they will make history

    • Anonymous says:

      no underestimations mission will not win t’day it’s too big of a game that has’nt happened since 1954 to much pressure for the coaches that have never been in this position before and players that hav’nt tasted the turkey! go eagles all the way back to back champions!

      • Anonymous says:

        it’s going to rain and rain hard. The way Wash fumbles and commits so many penalties it will be very difficult to play come back in the mud. Mission should can their silly version of the spread and pound the football with their big people

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wash house

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