Just a romp in the mud

Clean and simple: Lincoln ground game chews up Galileo to stay in AAA hunt

Phillipe Lewis knew it wouldn’t last long.

The Lincoln running back-linebacker was styling a bright white Mustangs jersey before the Academic Athletic Association game at Galileo Thursday. But in a contest played in a steady rain on a messy field, it was only a matter of time until the heart of the Mustangs found himself a puddle.

Lewis took his first carry of the game for a 35-yard touchdown run that ended with a splash in the muddiest part of the west end zone and Lincoln never looked back in a 35-8 win. The senior finished with 104 yards and the touchdown on 16 carries and teammate David Henderson added 114 yards and a score on 24 tries as Lincoln (7-2, 5-1 AAA) gained all of its 273 yards on the ground.

“Every time someone washes my jersey, they complain about how dirty it is,” Lewis said with a laugh. “And I knew it probably

wasn’t going to stay clean long today. But that’s the great thing about football — rain, snow, hail, fire or ice, you’re playing.”

Lewis wasn’t the only one salivating over the sloppy circumstances. The Lincoln players described the teams’ game plan as “Philly ball,” a tribute to the tough, bruising running style Mustangs coach Phil Ferrigno loves to rely upon in all conditions.

“This is what our old coach [John] Baxter used to call junkyard-dog football weather,” Lincoln lineman David Garcia said. “We wanted to get it in the pit and drive them back. We just love running the ball right down people’s throats.”

The Mustangs’ two-way line (led by Garcia, Marquice Lewis and Greg Foote) completely controlled both sides of the ball, holding Galileo

(1-8, 1-5) to just 17 rushing yards on 22 attempts. Foote helped Lincoln notch its second touchdown late in the first quarter, when he forced a fumble deep in Galileo territory that Lewis fell on in the end zone.

The unit also provided exemplary blocking on Henderson’s 18-yard touchdown run that made it 21-0 with 1:31 left in the third quarter.

The bright spot for the Lions was an explosive passing attack led by wide receiver Deshawn Jose, who caught six passes for 196 yards and a touchdown.

But even after Jose hauled in a 72-yard scoring throw from quarterback Javohn Cherry to make it 21-8 with 8:24 remaining, the Mustangs had an answer.

Henderson took the ensuing kickoff down the left sideline for a 78-yard touchdown, effectively putting the game out of reach.

Erik Foote finished the scoring on a 3-yard touchdown dive with 4:35 remaining.

“This is always a tough place to play and it’s never easy to come out of Galileo with a win,” Ferrigno said. “But our guys were just out there playing ball. Just being ballers.”

Lincoln 35, Galileo 8

melliser@examiner.com

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