Lincoln looms in Placer’s latest rivalry game

Prep Football Primer
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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The Lincoln High football team may not share the proximity to Placer of Bear River or Colfax, but the Zebras’ 2009 victory over the Hillmen denied them their first Pioneer Valley League title.
A rivalry was born.
Placer scored some revenge last season with a 62-20 thrashing of Lincoln. The Hillmen enter tonight’s game as heavy favorites against a team that lost four of its first five games to start the season.
“It helps with the history we’ve had, this has turned into a rival game,” Placer coach Joey Montoya said. “So even though Bear River was last week and Colfax is next, (the players) were focused on Lincoln this week. They’ve got two dynamic backs. (Isaac) Allen was good as a junior last year and he’s really good as a senior.”
The Zebras rely heavily on senior Allen, and for good reason. The 5-10, 205-pound tailback is tough to bring down, averaging 11 yards per carry and piling up more than 1,100 yards in just six games this season.
Last week against Foothill, Allen piled up 252 yards and five touchdowns on just 14 carries a Lincoln rolled to a 55-17 win.
Placer’s defense should be ready after a terrific performance at Bear River last week. The Hillmen had two interceptions and limited the Bruins to just 68 rushing yards in their 10-6 win.
Placer’s offense is looking to get rolling again after being stymied for much of the Bear River contest. The Hillmen scored just one touchdown against the Bruins, though senior Brad Spangler rushed for 127 yards and junior Michael Robinson added 66 and a TD.
Placer will welcome back Peter Denham, who was knocked out of last week’s game at Bear River with a shoulder injury. The quarterback was back at practice on Monday and Montoya said he was back at full strength by Wednesday.
Del Oro (5-1) at Nevada Union (4-2)
The Golden Eagles make their first visit to Grass Valley since the Miners joined the Sierra Foothill League and there is plenty on the line.
Del Oro sits at No. 1 in Cal-Hi Sports’ Division II North state bowl rankings. The Eagles are also looking to go 2-0 in the Sierra Foothill League, where a loss could put their title defense in jeopardy.
The Miners are hurting after consecutive losses to Elk Grove and Granite Bay. Nevada Union missed starting quarterback Kyle Cota in its 28-21 loss to the Grizzlies and may not have him against the Eagles tonight. But tailbacks Gabe Humphers and Nate Dickinson are dangerous and Josiah Paye is a playmaker for the Miners.
Del Oro has steadily improved since its loss to state-ranked Westlake on Sept. 3. The defense held Rocklin to just seven points in the Sierra Foothill League opener last week.
Senior linebacker/tight end Tanner Huber had 12 tackles along with a 50-yard touchdown reception and was named Cal-Hi Sports’ NorCal Defense/Multi-purpose Player of the Week. Huber leads the defense with 50 tackles on the season.
Tailbacks Brandon Monroe and Nick O’Sullivan continue to shine, running behind the Eagles’ terrific offensive line. Logan Lamb, Kevin Love and Zach Heath are leaders up front.
Bear River (5-1) at Center (2-4)
After a brutally tough 10-6 loss to Placer, the Bruins will look to recover against the Cougars.
The Bruins are hoping to re-gain their offensive swagger against the Cougars, who have yet to win a PVL game in six tries over the last two years.
Quarterback James Harris showed flashes of brilliance against Placer, including a nice 11-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Wooner and several big plays to favorite target Harley Sauers.
The Bear River defense is anchored by linemen Garrett Jensen and Dillon Huffman. Linebackers Jimmy Bamburg, Cody Heard and Zach Winter have also been outstanding.
Foothill (3-3) at Colfax (6-0)
The Falcons look to feast on the struggling Mustangs for homecoming before a huge game in Auburn on Oct. 21.
Colfax is undefeated through six games for the first time since 2006. Meanwhile Foothill has lost three straight games, including a 55-17 defeat at Lincoln last week.
The Mustangs do have a dangerous dual-threat quarterback in senior David Sanders. He passed for 133 yards and two touchdowns against the Zebras.
Senior Austin Young is well on his way to another all-PVL season. He’s passed for 15 touchdowns and two interceptions to go with 1,298 yards. Colfax’s rushing game is just as impressive.
Senior Hunter Perez has rushed for 1,072 yards and 19 TDs. He’s also caught a pair of TD passes.
The Colfax defense is getting better behind leaders Roger Lille, Nolan Karbowsi and Benton Brown.