Lincoln wins opener

Henderson begins with bang, rushes for 279 yards, scores four touchdowns

PALO ALTO — They broke out the lights for the first time Gunn High School — and David Henderson was determined to put on a show.

The Lincoln running back scored on a 71-yard touchdown run the second time he touched the ball and had three first-half TDs while the Mustangs turned up the defensive intensity in the second half during a 41-21 victory to open the prep football season Friday.

Henderson, who finished with 279 yards and four TDs on 19 rushes, kept the Mustangs in it in the first half with 184 yards on 11 carries. That performance was necessary as the defense tried to figure out an infrequent but opportunistic Titans passing attack.

Gunn quarterback Chris Gumbrecht was 3-of-6 in the first half — but all three completions went for touchdowns to give the Titans a 21-18 halftime lead.

On Henderson’s first touchdown run, the junior took a pitch and ran a sweep to the right on third-and-3 from the Lincoln 29, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, made a juke at midfield and then outsprinted the defense to the end zone to put the Mustangs up 6-0.

Gunn responded with three consecutive TDs, starting with Gumbrecht’s 8-yard scoring pass to Andrew Hopkins and followed it up with strikes to Stephen Strnad (29 yards) and again to Hopkins (46 yards), making it 21-6 with 11:08 left in the half.

Henderson followed with rushing touchdowns on Lincoln’s next two drives, including a 35-yard dash in which he started up the middle, showed patience and bounced outside the blocking scheme and down the right sideline to make it 21-12.

Trailing 21-18 after Henderson’s third TD, Lincoln had a chance to take the lead just before halftime, but a fumbled quarterback exchange gave Gunn possession at its 17 with 1:10 left in the second quarter.

Ronnie Marania connected with Jose Medina on a 12-yard TD pass with 6:07 left in the third quarter to put Lincoln on top 26-21. Phillipe Lewis had a 1-yard run late in the third quarter and Henderson put the game away with a 49-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, Lincoln linebacker Michael Clayton had 11 tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage — all in the first half.

The Lincoln defense held Gunn to 61 yards rushing, including minus-3 in the second half, and 170 yards passing, 83 of which came in the first half.

melliser@examiner.com

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