By John Baker
The Lincoln High School football team has thus far dominated its competition in early Academic Athletic Association play, but it got a reminder that things aren’t always going to come easy on Saturday, as the Mustangs had to rely on some unusual suspects to come away with a 35-20 win over visiting Galileo.
While senior running back Demetrius Williams may have scored three touchdowns – for a total of 11 over his past four games – it was Tyree Marzetta who saved the game for the Mustangs (5-1, 4-0) in a contest that was closer than the final score appeared.
Galileo (1-4-1, 0-2) got to within a touchdown with 8:15 remaining in the game on a 2-yard keeper by quarterback Kyle Nelson. On the extra point, the 5-foot-10 Marzetta burst over the line and raised his arms to block the try.
The blocked extra point could have proven critical, because the Lions had already successfully completed two onside kicks in the game and Galileo tried again after the score. But Marzetta again made a difference, pulling down the bouncing ball on the 50-yard line.
“Today we got off to a slow start and got a little lax,” Marzetta said. “But Lincoln’s always a better second-half team, so we just rallied around each other and picked it up.”
Then what did the junior do? Only carry the ball seven times on the ensuing drive and score the game-sealing touchdown on a 1-yard run with 4:48 remaining.
“We’re feeling pretty good – just taking it one game at a time,” Marzetta said after his team’s fifth-straight win following a season-opening loss to Riordan. “We’re not thinking of it as five [wins in a row], we’re thinking of each day trying to make ourselves better.”
Lincoln got on the board eight minutes into the game when Derek Morrell’s 1-yard keeper capped a four-play, 30-yard drive. The Mustangs extended their lead to 13-0 when Williams pulled into the end zone on a 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Ronzel Fox busted out a 25-yard scoring run up the right sideline 3:37 before halftime for Galileo’s first score and Terrell Jeffrey pulled down a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nelson 31 seconds before the break for the Lions’ second.
“We were up 13-0, then all the wheels came off the bus,” said Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno. “It was a bad day for us. We lost our concentration.”
While the two Galileo scores were separated by Williams’ second TD run, a 47-yard spring from left to right, Nelson was a force, completing seven straight passes and 9-of-10 right before the half.
“We were able to move the ball a little bit, but in the end we couldn’t make the big plays,” said Galileo head coach Mark Huynh. “We can always use luck, but in the end, you need to make the big plays.”
The second half, however, was a different story, as the Lincoln defense held Nelson to just one completed pass.
“We changed where our heart was,” Marzetta said. “We had to do our jobs. We were too busy trying to make the big play and we needed to focus on the little things. “
Williams finished with a game-high 133 yards rushing on 17 carries. Marzetta carried the ball 19 times for 98 yards. Fox lead Galileo with 57 yards on 13 carries, while Nelson completed 12 of 20 passes for 209 yards.
L: 4:03 – Derek Morrell 1-yard run (Morrell kick)
L: 11:56 – Demetrius Williams 3-yard run (kick failed)
G: 3:37 – Ronzel Fox 25-yard run (Yanek Hakobyan kick)
L: 1:40 – Williams 47-yard run (Tyree Marzetta run on conversion)
G: 0:31 – Terrell Jeffrey 15-yard pass from Kyle Nelson (Hakobyan kick)
L: 2:41 – Williams 16-yard run (Morrell kick)
G: 8:15 – Nelson 2-yard run (kick blocked)
L: 4:48 – Marzetta 1-yard run (Morrell kick)