Back on Oct. 18, Galileo High School beat Lincoln in a thrilling game for spectators. The Lions squeaked by 34-33 after the Mustangs botched a two-point conversion with 27 seconds left in the game.
If the 90th annual Turkey Bowl today resembles the previous matchup between the two schools, then fans will be in for a Thanksgiving treat with the San Francisco Section-Academic Athletic Association championship on the line.
“It was a great game and they were fortunate to pull it off, and I’m not dissuading anything Galileo did,” Lincoln coach Phil Ferrigno said. “They made plays when they needed to and we didn’t.”
After clearly establishing themselves as the two best teams in the AAA throughout the season, Galileo and Lincoln are polar opposites of each other.
Galileo (11-1) — winner of its first AAA regular-season title since 2001 — has won 11 straight, and lit up the scoreboard in the process. A no-huddle, spread offense has helped the Lions average a whopping 49.9 points a game.
Senior quarterback Kyle Nelson, who calls the plays on the field for Galileo, has had a remarkable season, throwing for 2,953 yards and 44 touchdown passes to just four interceptions. Seniors Ronzell Fox and Dontell Jackson have also enjoyed big seasons, with Fox rushing for 1,337 yards with 21 touchdowns. Jackson leads the AAA with 62 receptions, 1,077 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Ferrigno — coaching in his seventh Turkey Bowl in 12 years — is fully aware of what Galileo’s quick-strike offense is capable of.
“Nelson is such a dynamic player, and they have a bunch of playmakers,” Ferrigno said. “We’re going to have to hold them in check and make the most of our opportunities.”
Defending AAA champion Lincoln (7-4) will surely ride the legs of its thoroughbreds, senior running backs Davion Telfor and Tyree Marzetta. Telfor leads the AAA with 1,508 yards on the ground to go along with 17 touchdowns, and Marzetta — who had the game-winning two-point conversion to give Lincoln the edge in last year’s Turkey Day tussle — is not far behind, as he’s rushed for 1,358 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The duo combined to rush for 401 yards and four touchdowns in their previous meeting against Galileo. The Lions will surely need to slow down Telfor and Marzetta if they wish to win their first AAA championship since 2009.
“The last game against Lincoln, our defense was not sound,” Galileo coach Mark Huynh said. “[Telfor] and [Marietta] are powerful runners and they have a very good offensive line. If we don’t match their physicality, we’ll be in trouble.”