Turkey Day Preview: Lincoln looking to break top-seed losing streak against Mission

The Lincoln defense pressured Mission senior quarterback Antoine Porter in their first meeting and forced him to throw three interceptions. (Photo by Eric Sun)

By Jeremy Balan

While the Lincoln High School football team’s resounding 42-14 regular-season win over Mission makes the Mustangs considerable favorites in the Academic Athletic Association championship game on Thanksgiving Day, recent history is not on their side.

The last three regular-season AAA champions have all fallen short of winning Turkey Day titles, but Lincoln was the last team to do it, when it won its fourth straight championship in 2008.

Mission has been on both sides of the trend in the last two seasons.

In 2010, Mission had its undefeated regular season spoiled by fourth-seeded Balboa in the league semifinals, but last season, the Bears knocked off league-undefeated Washington to win their first AAA title since 1954.

Lincoln senior running back Demetrius Williams ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns against Mission in their first meeting. (Photo by Eric Sun)

Lincoln head coach Phil Ferrigno shrugs off the favorite label, but is more than happy to be back in the Thanksgiving Day tradition for the first time since 2009.

“Everybody wants to play this week,” Ferrigno said. “We’re fortunate to be there and we are just trying to play that perfect game.”

The Mustangs were pretty close to perfect in their convincing win over Mission on Nov. 3.

Lincoln forced five Mission turnovers, ran for 394 yards in their triple-option offense, shut down the Bears’ running game and limited the impact of Mission standout senior quarterback Antoine Porter.

“It’s the one game we lost in the regular season, but I don’t know if it was the super low point [of the season],” said Mission head coach Joe Albano. “I was a little surprised at the outcome, but that’s what is going to happen when you turn the ball over five times and take penalties like that.”

Porter, who has accounted for 2,489 yards of total offense and 38 touchdowns, and Lincoln senior running back Demetrius Williams, who has totaled a AAA-high 1,177 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing, have garnered most of the attention this season, but the regular-season meeting between the two teams was won in the trenches.

The Lincoln offensive and defensive lines, anchored by senior Wesley Chew, have been dominant in AAA play, and against Mission, drove the Bears off the ball on offense, and punished Porter and the rest of the Mission ball carriers on defense.

“They’re not under the radar. I know how good they are,” Ferrigno said of the Lincoln linemen. “It’s pretty apparent they’re having a great year on both sides of the ball.”

For Mission to pull off an upset, composure will be a must, especially if the Bears fall behind early. Against Lincoln in their first meeting, the Bears lost composure, specifically with a pair of senior leaders, which got into an animated argument on the field during a timeout.

“Once the kids get down, it seems to keep rolling that way, and once they get up, it keeps rolling that way too,” Albano said. “A key for us will be, if we go down in the game, are we going to keep our heads in the game? Are we going to stick with it or lay down? Things aren’t always going to go our way.”

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20 Comments

  1. #mustangs says:

    Mustangs is taking it ! LINCOLN

  2. Mission Alumni says:

    Mission Pride !!!

  3. T&F Coach says:

    Mission will repeat.

  4. JJ says:

    I hope this Turkey game ends in a tie. it’s a possibility, right?

    • JJ says:

      My prediction that this game will end in a tie could come into fruition!!

      • Lance says:

        “missed it by that much”

        • alien says:

          More like, made it (extra point) by that much, then Lincoln came back, scored in the final 30 seconds and got the 2-pt conversion to win by a point.

          A great game on a gorgeous, warm, sunny day.
          Lincoln up, 14-0 at the half. Mission came back in the second half, had a 21-14 lead late in the 4th.
          They kept Lincoln from scoring twice, early in the 4th, deep in their end,
          then took the lead, 20-14, but kicked the extra point rather than going for the 2.
          Fatal move, as it turned out.

          “The San Francisco Section has agreed to help us with our ongoing dnfundraising effort by pledging a portion of the proceeds from the event, but it comes with a catch. For the site to get a donation, the attendance must be above the section’s three-year average (1,804). ”

          Didn’t appear to be 1,805 fans there; maybe 1,500, if that.

          • JJ says:

            I think there was at least 2,000 at the game, my guess would be around 2,500. Is there overtime in HS? If not, Lincoln had to go for 2 or else the coach would’ve looked like a wuss, although 2 pt conversions seem to convert at a higher rate than PAT’s in the AAA.

          • sf alum says:

            Easily 2,500, probably more than 3,000. Great game but Mission could have won…should have scored in the 1st half, should have kicked deep at 21-14, should have defended the pass on 3rd and 13 late. Kudos to both teams for a memorable championship and Antoine Porter was special out there today.

            • alien says:

              Looked like about 700 on the Lincoln side; a bit more on MIssion side.
              It wasn’t packed, not even close.
              jb wrote somewhere that last year’s attendance was ~500.
              Looked like about 3x that many today. Surprised, because the weather was great this year, unlike last year.
              Hope it was actually >2000, though, and SFP gets some cheddar.

              Mission should’ve gone for the 2 on their last TD. Oh, well.

              Video highlights (brief, though) up on youtube:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFgtClUpYEE

  5. Iforgotmyname says:

    Why was my comment blocked?

  6. God bless the south says:

    Game can’t end in a tie can it?

  7. T&F Coach says:

    The last T-day that ended in the tie was in 1989 Gal-Wash @Wash . I want to say the score was 7-7. But Gal was crowned as champion cause they beat Wash a few weeks earlier .

  8. Washington 2012 says:

    Washington got robbed last year.

    never thought i say this but let’s go lincoln.

  9. Yosf says:

    what time does the game start??

  10. T&F Coach says:

    That was one heullva game today one of the best T-day games i’ve seen

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