The Sideline

Friday night was a huge night for Tacoma public school football.

While the fifth-ranked Lincoln Abes took care of business in a contest they were heavily-favored to win, the additional news from Seattle's Memorial Stadium that the Wilson Rams led throughout and knocked-off Metro Valley champion Ballard was a big one.

LINCOLN - 63, NATHAN HALE - 6

WILSON - 43, BALLARD - 22

It's been a long time since two Tacoma public schools advanced to the State 3A Tournament.

The Round of 16.

The Show.

It was the 1979 football season that saw two Tacoma public schools win their way into the state tournament simultaneously. Mt. Tahoma and Foss advanced past the first round and MT beat the Falcons 28-0. The T-Birds went on to win the first of their two-straight state titles.

Friday's 7 p.m. kick-off against third-ranked O'Dea will mark the first home state tournament game at Lincoln Bowl for the Abes since the advent of the State Tournament Format in 1973.

The First Time Ever.

41 Years.

Lincoln sophomore Jordan Kitna passed for 284 yards and five touchdown passes in the first half and sat out the second half. Senior Dehonta Hayes opened the scoring in the game with an electric 11-yard race to the end zone off a Kitna toss.

Hayes went wild in the second quarter picking off a pass at the Lincoln 40-yard line and ran it back 60 yards for a touchdown.

Two minutes later, Hayes picked up a punt off the bounce and headed for the Lincoln sideline. The D-1 recruit maneuvered through solid blocks and traffic up the sideline and broke back to the middle for another touchdown. At the time, Lincoln now led 35-0 with 8:10 remaining in the game.

Lincoln (10-0) led 63-0 over Nathan Hale (4-6) at halftime. With a running clock in the second half, Lincoln played mostly their second, third and fourth-string players, running the ball and chewing clock. The defense held the shutout until Nathan Hale's final drive of the game.

In Fridays issue (11/07) of the Tacoma Weekly, we wrote about the Wilson Rams .vs Ballard Beavers match-up -

"...With a penchant for come-from-behind wins and experience on the road, Wilson has a legitimate shot at winning this game and moving on to the first round of the state playoffs."

Wilson (8-2) didn't have to come from behind in the actual game tonight, as they led throughout and pulled away from Ballard (5-5) in the second half for the three-touchdown victory.

The Rams get a true state tournament feel coming up in their opener. They will travel over the mountains to face Mt. Spokane (8-2) at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane on Saturday, Nov. 15. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.

FRIDAY NIGHT - TACOMA AREA FOOTBALL SCORES FOR NOV. 7

4A DISTRICT ROUND

UNION - 42, CURTIS - 14

2A DISTRICT ROUND

FIFE - 21, LIBERTY - 0

Resounding upset on the road against ranked KingCo team.

KINGSTON - 20, FRANKLIN PIERCE - 19

A missed extra-point to take the lead late and a missed extra-point in Overtime doom the Cardinals at home in a big upset.

1A DISTRICT ROUND

CHARLES WRIGHT - 24, PORT TOWNSEND - 14

The Terriers (4-5) were blown out 49-6 by Port Townsend (7-3) one week ago. A massive upset over the Olympic league champions.

NON-PLAYOFF GAMES

FOSS - 30, STADIUM - 22

LAKES - 47, MT. TAHOMA - 0

SATURDAY NIGHT TACOMA HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT GAMES

4A DISTRICT ROUND

BELLARMINE (6-3) at KENTWOOD (8-1) - FRENCH FIELD, KENT - 7 P.M.

2B DISTRICT ROUND

ADNA (6-3) at LIFE CHRISTIAN (6-2) - HARRY LANG STADIUM, LAKEWOOD - 7 P.M.

With the constant rain beating down upon historic Stadium Bowl, the Lincoln fans were screaming for a punt.

Some were absolutely beside themselves.

Facing fourth and 15 from the Wilson 45-yard line, the Lincoln Abes inexplicably, rolled the dice, with possibly an undefeated season and 3A Narrows crown on the line.

Up 6-3 with 1:44 remaining in the game, the Abes could have punted the ball. They could have turned it over to the defense. Both defenses had been fantastic and smothering all night.

Instead, it was time for a Jordan Kitna deep ball down the right sideline to a double-covered Jayson Williams. The senior wide receiver went up and over both Ram defenders and came down with the ball at the one yard line.

The Lincoln crowd went nuts in a sort-of "we can't believe you put us through this" kind of way. If it hadn't been so soaking wet out, it might have been hair-raising.

Senior running back Marcus Johnson punched it up the middle on the next play to seal the 12-6 victory. The water-logged crowd on both sides of Stadium Bowl couldn't believe what had just transpired in the final 3:43 of this bruiser of a football game.

Down by just three points, Wilson took over on their own 26-yard line with a chance to tie or win the game with 3:43 left on the clock. Senior Ram quarterback Julius Yates-Brown went for the big one on the first play launching a deep ball toward the right-center of the field.

Lincoln had the solid coverage and Abes sophomore Joey Sinclair nabbed his second interception of the night at the Lincoln 45-yard line.

On the next play, freshman running back Tristian Kwon took a hand-off from Kitna and busted it outside for a 15-yard run. It looked like Lincoln might finally have the game under its own control.

With 3:00 remaining in the game, and first and ten from the Wilson 40 yard line, Lincoln decided to pass instead of keeping it on the ground and running out the clock. Two Kitna incompletions on first and second down were followed by a five yard penalty. On third and 15, Kitna hit Williams on a dump pass and the Ram defense swarmed over him at the line of scrimmage.

Instead of punting, the Abes went for it all, and cashed in with the 12-6 win in a game they could have easily lost, during the drenched, injury-filled night at Stadium Bowl.

In the first quarter, Wilson drove to the Lincoln nine-yard line and faced first and goal. The Abes defense would not let them pass the four-yard line and Rams sophomore kicker Alek Greenleaf knocked through a 21-yard field goal for a Wilson 3-0 lead with 6:52 left in the quarter.

Lincoln answered with 47.2 seconds left in the first quarter facing third and goal from the nine-yard line. Kitna scrambled left and hit junior receiver Tony Archie flashing toward the end zone sideline. Archie got one toe down and following an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Abes led 6-3.

Twice, the Rams were turned away from the scoreboard in the second and third quarter. In the second quarter Greenleaf came up short on a 45-yard field goal attempt. Facing fourth and goal from the Lincoln two yard line, Wilson went for the tie and brought out Greenleaf. The kicker's 17-yard attempt was blocked and the 6-3 lead was preserved.

The undefeated, fifth-ranked Lincoln Abes (6-0, 8-0) secured at least a share of the 3A Narrows title, but more importantly earned the #1 seed from the Narrows. The Abes will host a team from the Metro League. Possibly Bishop Blanchett or Rainier Beach on Nov. 7 or 8.

The Wilson Rams (4-2, 6-2) have secured the fourth-seed into the playoffs, and can win the third-seed with a victory over Central Kitsap on Thursday night. At the moment, a win could mean a road game against Garfield, a Loss and the 4th seed may equal a road trip to Roosevelt, or O'Dea... Nov. 7 or 8.

TACOMA AREA SCORES FOR FRIDAY, OCT. 24

4A NARROWS LEAGUE

OLYMPIA - 21, BELLARMINE - 14

SOUTH KITSAP - 20, STADIUM - 0

3A NARROWS LEAGUE

LINCOLN - 12, WILSON - 3

CENTRAL KITSAP - 27, FOSS - 0

SHELTON - 34, MT. TAHOMA - 7

3A SOUTH PUGET SOUND LEAGUE

ENUMCLAW - 14, LAKES - 7

2A SOUTH PUGET SOUND LEAGUE

FRANKLIN PIERCE - 47, CLOVER PARK - 6

RIVER RIDGE - 38, FIFE - 21

ORTING - 36, WASHINGTON - 27

STEILACOOM - 42, WHITE RIVER - 20

1A NISQUALLY LEAGUE

CHARLES WRIGHT - 32, BELLEVUE CHRISTIAN - 7

2B PACIFIC LEAGUE

NORTH BEACH - 38, LIFE CHRISTIAN - 6

On homecoming night, the Lincoln Abes put together another solid performance to defeat the visiting Central Kitsap Cougars at historic Lincoln Bowl by a score of 41-14. The victory moves the fifth-ranked Abes to 5-0 in the 3A Narrows league and 7-0 overall.

A win against Wilson (4-1, 6-1) next Friday at Stadium Bowl would lock up the title for Lincoln. Expect a serious ballgame from Wilson, who still has a chance at the title and is battling for one of the coveted top two seeds out of the 3A Narrows which will earn a home game for the first round of the state playoffs.

Junior Lincoln quarterback Jordan Kitna continued his assault through the air, racking up 367 yards passing on 22 of 36 attempts for five touchdowns and an interception. Kitna has now passed for 37 touchdowns this season and is approaching 3,000 yards.

Kitna had his leg rolled-up on a sack early in the second quarter and injured his ankle. Lincoln staff taped him up and worked him through a painful remainder of the game before handing the ball off to back-up quarterback, sophomore Joey Sinclair in the fourth quarter.

Junior running back Dionte Simon had a big night racking up 131 yards through the air and scored two touchdowns. Senior all-everything back Dehonta Hayes scored two touchdowns and set up the first score of the night with a 73-yard punt return.

Newly-crowned homecoming king, senior Jusstis Warren, capped the scoring for the Abes in the fourth quarter with a 30-yard inside-outside run that ended with a dive onto the end zone pile-on with a defender draped across his back. Junior tight end Devin Brady opened the night with a six-yard touchdown pass from Kitna.

FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCORES AROUND TACOMA - OCT. 17

4A NARROWS

BELLARMINE - 20, YELM - 14 (LIONS TIED FOR 1ST WITH GIG HARBOR)

STADIUM - 41, TIMBERLINE - 28 (FIRST TIGER WIN OF THE SEASON)

3A NARROWS

WILSON - 13, FOSS - 0

CAPITAL - 57, MT. TAHOMA - 0

2A SPSL

FIFE - 29, ORTING - 13

STEILACOOM - 34, FRANKLIN PIERCE - 13

WASHINGTON - 47, WHITE RIVER - 14

RIVER RIDGE - 59, CLOVER PARK - 0

4A SPSL

CURTIS - 28, BETHEL - 21

3A SPSL

LAKES - 28, SUMNER - 10

2B PACIFIC

SOUTH BEND - 41, CHIEF LESCHI - 16

STATEWIDE TOP-RANKED GAMES

FERNDALE - 37, 2A #1 LYNDEN - 35

3A #3 EASTSIDE CATHOLIC - 26, 3A #2 O'DEA 20

2A #4 ELLENSBURG - 21, 2A #3 PROSSER - 14

4A #2 CAMAS - 31, #3 UNION 20

3A #6 PENINSULA - 25, 3A #8 AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW - 20

FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - TACOMA AREA SCORES

Friday Night - October 10 - Tacoma Area Footaball

4A NARROWS LEAGUE

BELLARMINE PREP - 35, SOUTH KITSAP - 10

OLYMPIA - 34, STADIUM - 6

3A NARROWS LEAGUE

LINCOLN - 69, NORTH THURSTON - 27

CAPITAL - 34, WILSON - 21

FOSS - 29, MT. TAHOMA - 20

4A SPSL LEAGUE

CURTIS - 50, ROGERS - 14

3A SPSL LEAGUE

AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW - 17, LAKES - 0

2A SPSL LEAGUE

FRANKILIN PIERCE - 38, FIFE - 35

RIVER RIDGE - 53, WASHINGTON - 8

WHITE RIVER - 40, CLOVER PARK - 8

ORTING - 35, STEILACOOM - 34

1A NISQUALLY LEAGUE

CHARLES WRIGHT - 58, VASHON - 22

2B PACIFIC LEAGUE

RAINIER - 48, TACOMA BAPTIST - 0

NORTH BEACH - 75, CHIEF LESCHI - 0

TACOMA AREA FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCORES

LINCOLN 32, CAPITAL 10

FOSS 26, SHELTON 13

CENTRAL KITSAP 47, MT. TAHOMA 6

WILSON 47, NORTH THURSTON 21

BELLARMINE 70, STADIUM 14

FRANKLIN PIERCE 16, RIVER RIDGE 14

STEILACOOM 45, WASHINGTON 20

FIFE 35, WHITE RIVER 13

LAKES 67, AUBURN RIVERSIDE 7

CHARLES WRIGHT 30, VASHON 8

CURTIS 35, SPANAWAY LAKE 21

ORTING 58, CLOVER PARK 7

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