By Jeremy Balan
If there was any doubt the Lincoln High School football program was back to being the Academic Athletic Association’s best, it quickly evaporated on Saturday.
The Mustangs manhandled defending Turkey Day champion Mission and clinched the top seed in the AAA playoffs with a 42-14 victory at School of the Arts.
Lincoln (8-1, 5-0) didn’t complete a pass, but ran for 394 yards, led by a game-high 154 and a touchdown on 23 carries by senior running back Demetrius Williams.
Lincoln quarterback Derek Morrell went 0-for-5 through the air and didn’t attempt a throw in the second half, but directed the triple-option Lincoln offense with precision. The senior ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, including a 46-yard score early in the third quarter to give the Mustangs 21-0 lead.
Williams, as well as junior running back Tyree Marzetta (87 yards on 13 carries) and sophomore fullback Justus Smith (67 yards on eight carriers), also thrived in the option directed by Morrell.
“I can’t say enough about that kid,” Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno said of Morrell. “Most quarterbacks want to come in and throw the ball all the time, but he’s bought in to what we’re doing.”
The 42 points allowed by Mission (5-3, 4-1) is tied for the largest point total against the Bears under third-year head coach Joe Albano. The last time Mission gave up 42 points was Albano’s first game as head coach, a season-opening 42-6 loss to Tomales in 2010.
“That was an ass-kicking,” Albano said. “They did what they were going to do and we knew what they were going to do. They outmanned us at the line of scrimmage.”
While the Mustangs’ offense controlled the ball and time of possession, the opportunistic Lincoln defense punished seemingly every Mission ball-carrier. The big hits came primarily from
senior junior linebacker Davion Telfor, who was responsible for several high-impact collisions.
The Mustangs also did what no other AAA team has been able to do – limit the impact of standout Mission quarterback Antoine Porter.
Porter got his yards – he threw for 146 on 8-of-17 passing and ran for 114 on 10 carries – but was intercepted three times by the Lincoln defense. Morrell, a safety on defense, had two of the interceptions and Williams, at cornerback, had the other.
Williams also recovered a fumble and returned it 22-yards for a touchdown for Lincoln’s first score of the game. Mission lost two fumbles in the first half and totaled five turnovers.
The key for Lincoln was limiting the rest of the Mission running game, other than Porter. Mission running back Roy Sauceda had a 43-yard run in the second quarter and Porter scrambled for his 114, but the rest of the Bears’ running game totaled just 29 yards on 18 carries.
“It’s hard to contain [Porter],” Ferrigno said. “We just did what we had to do. We played really good against the run and made them one-dimensional.”
Lincoln was also one-dimensional in the second half, but it was by design. With a 14-0 lead at the halftime break, Lincoln ran 29 consecutive rushing plays to put the game away.
“That’s all we’re about,” Williams said. “We run the option. That’s what we’re all about – the running game.”
L: 5:40 – Demetrius Williams 22-yard fumble return (Derek Morrell kick)
L: 9:28 – Morrell 2-yard run (Morrell kick)
L: 10:11 – Morrell 46-yard run (kick failed)
M: 4:51 – Alex Tico 25-yard pass from Antoine Porter (Peter Lee kick)
L: 0:29 – Williams 10-yard run (Tyree Marzetta Run on conversion)
L: 10:03 – Justus Smith 6-yard run (Morrell kick)
M: 7:37 – Armani McFarland 29-yard pass from Porter (Peter Lee kick)
L: 5:37 – Williams 14-yard run (Morrell kick)