‘No love lost’ in heated matchup

It’s a rivalry sparked by the inevitable struggle between the top dogs in a seven-team league, built on newspaper clippings and slights real and perceived and stoked by two charismatic and dominant lead characters.

And it should all make for delicious drama when the Lowell football team travels to Lincoln on Friday at 3 p.m. Both the Cardinals (6-0, 5-0 Academic Athletic Association) and Mustangs (5-3, 4-0) enter the game unbeaten in league play, with the winner likely earning the league’s regular-season title.

“It’s a big game and I think it’s kicked up and become quite a rivalry in the past couple of years,” Lincoln coach Phil Ferrigno said. “There’s definitely respect, but there’s no love lost between the two teams.”

The programs met twice in 2005 and 2006, with Lowell winning the regular-season matchup each time only to be bounced in the playoffs by the Mustangs. In last year’s Turkey Bowl, Lincoln came back from a 16-6 halftime deficit to defeat the Cardinals 29-22, a game spiced up by a bizarre incident following the second quarter in which the Lowell players briefly sprinted toward the Lincoln team on the way to the locker rooms.

“It was just one of those incidental things … that turned into something stupid,” Cardinals coach Danny Chan said. “I was kind of a little giddy out there myself and probably made a couple of bad decisions. But was that the difference? I think it’s more that their lines got going and [star Lincoln running back David] Henderson got going.”

That Chan referred to Henderson by name represents a change from earlier this season, in which he and other members of the program occasionally avoided using his name in both interviews and casual conversation.

“It’s just hoping people would kind of see our league not only through Dave Henderson, but through Bismark [Navarro, Lowell’s star running back] as well,” Chan said. “We’re aware of Henderson and know how fast and good he is, but he has a little mystique about him and we have to look at him as just another back we have to stop.”

This much is clear — Henderson and Navarro represent the league’s two most explosive players. Henderson has 1,438 yards and 20 touchdowns on 179 carries this season, while Navarro has 1,114 yards and 25 scores on 118 tries.

“They’re both big-time players,” Ferrigno said.

“Bismark’s a good guy, Dave Henderson’s a good guy and people should come out to Lincoln Friday to check these guys out,” Chan said. “We both have good defenses, young but good lines, and it’s going to be a big game.”

melliser@examiner.com

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

A Muni historic streetcar takes a test drive on Embarcadero near the Ferry Building on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrate after Mostert scores his fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
49ers on prime-time TV five times in 2021

Usually a team that finishes in last place and won only six… Continue reading

Most Read