By John Baker
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — It takes guts to call for a fake punt in your own territory late in a tied road game.
So much guts that Lincoln High School head coach Phil Ferrigno says the call — to go for it on a fourth-and-five play with 1:40 left in the game at El Camino on Saturday — wasn’t even his.
Lincoln’s Davion Telfour took a short snap and found a crease up the left side for a 32-yard gain and a first down, setting up teammate Justus Smith’s 2-yard touchdown run two plays later that gave Lincoln a 35-28 non-league road win over El Camino of South San Francisco.
“Those were my boys. They called it. I ain’t going to take credit for it,” Ferrigno said. “I was about to call it, then it got too late, but [team captain Demtrius Williams] is a mind reader and he just did it. You gotta love the kids who come through and believe in each other. They do some great things when they all act as a team.”
Telfor said that despite the ad hoc nature of the move, the Lincoln offense worked perfectly in unison on the play.
“I just followed my block and kept going,” Telfor said. “I saw the opening and kept going. I just got with my team and played hard.”
With the win, the Mustangs improved to 2-1 on the season, with both wins coming against San Mateo County teams. El Camino, which had defeated Lincoln’s AAA rival Washington 34-12 the previous week, fell to 1-2.
“My hat’s off to El Camino, they played a whale of a game,” Ferrigno said. “And my guys, we’re doing all right, right now. It’s good to play a quality opponent and come out with a win.”
Lincoln got out to a 14-point lead with quarterback Derek Morrell’s 2-yard keeper 6 minutes into the game and on the first of Williams’ three touchdowns on the day, a 9-yarder with 7:11 left in the first half.
But the Colts tied the game with a pair of touchdowns late in the second quarter. The first was a 27-yard pass from Ian Santos to Taj Childs, in which, Childs pulled the ball from the hands of a Lincoln defender. The second came 6 seconds before halftime when Brandon Gip intercepted a Morrell pass deep in El Camino territory and ran it back 97 yards on a zig-zag course to tie the game.
“The last two minutes of the first half was just torture.” Ferrigno said. “Because we had them on the edge and relaxed.”
Morrell got the Lincoln offense going again in the third quarter, when he slipped several tackles on a 20-yard run to set up a 15-yard score by Williams on the next play. El Camino’s Anthony Hines again tied the game with a 17-yard TD run, but Williams put the Mustangs up 28-21 going into the final frame when he broke away on a 53-yard counter up the middle.
“I give all my respect [to] my line — they went in on that,” Williams said. “If it wasn’t for my line, who knows where I would’ve went on that. That was the biggest hole I’ve ever seen.”
El Camino coach Mark Turner said defensive breakdowns on those two plays were a key reason his team lost on Saturday.
“We had too many mistakes, too many missed tackles,” Turner said. “When you’re playing against athletic teams, you can’t do that. Tackling is a mindset . . . you can be good at it by just wanting to be good at it.”
Santos and Childs hooked up for another Colts touchdown, this one a 14-yard pass, just 33 seconds into the fourth quarter to again tie the game. A war of attrition then set in, with both teams eating the clock to no avail until Lincoln tried its fake punt with 1:40 left.
Along with Williams’ three scores, the senior ran for a game-high 148 yards on 16 carries.
L: 5:38 – Derek Morrell 2-yard run (Morrell kick)
L: 7:11 – Demetrius Williams 9-yard run (Morrell Kick)
EC: 2:41 – Taj Childs 27-yard pass from Santos (Jose Rodriguez kick)
EC: 0:06 – Brandon Gip 97-yard interception return (Rodriguez kick)
L: 7:55 – Williams 15-yard run (kick failed)
EC: 4:46 — Anthony Hines 17 run (Rodriguez kick)
L: 2:13 — Williams 53 run (Williams run)
EC: 11:27 — Childs 14 pass from Santos (Rodriguez kick)
L: 0:30 — Smith 2 run (Morrell kick)