Friday Night in Person

Game reports from where we wound up to watch playoff games. Tomorrow, with probable wind and rain, we'll be there at Diablo Valley College as De La Salle attempts to wrap up another unbeaten season.

Lincoln Falls in Sac-Joaquin

Other than one drive and one play, the normally potent offense at Lincoln of Stockton was held to just 47 yards by Fairfield as the Falcons knocked off the defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I champions, 19-7, on Friday night in this year's semifinals at Lincoln's field.
Fairfield, which started the season 0-2 and was runner-up to Vacaville in the Monticello Empire League, advanced the Div. I title game next Friday at University of the Pacific in Stockton for the first time since 1991. The Falcons played Elk Grove in that game and lost, 20-6. They will meet Elk Grove again as the unbeaten Thundering Herd defeated Johnson of Sacramento, 34-15, in the other semifinal. Elk Grove lost in last year's title game to Lincoln in overtime. Linebacker Desmond Bishop and cornerback Quenton Ganther sparked Fairfield¹s defense. They also starred on offense as Bishop scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter and sealed the win with a 36-yard run with 1:42 left. Ganther scored Fairfield's first touchdown by taking a screen pass from quarterback David Dionne and breaking several tackles en route to a 31-yard score.

Lincoln's only success against Fairfield's defense came on a six-play 69-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown by Louis Rankin with 11:21 left in the second quarter. Because Fairfield missed its first two PATs, Lincoln was still very much in the game until the late going and received a glimmer of hope when quarterback Ryan Schreppel connected with
standout receiver Justin Belcher on a 42-yard pass that pushed the Trojans from their own 1-yard line out to the Fairfield 43. But the Falcon defense stiffened at that point. Lincoln failed to convert on a fourth down just over three minutes left. Bishop scored two plays later to effectively end the game.

- Mark Tennis

Taft Tops Crenshaw to Advance to LA City Final

Junior quarterback Cary Dove threw three touchdown passes, two to junior Noah Smith, as Taft defeated Crenshaw 38-28 in a LA City Section Semifinal at San Pedro High. Smith caught scoring passes of six and 42 yards and also scored on a 14-yard reverse to lead the Toreadors attack. Taft's 'other' Smith, All-State junior Steve, caught a 44-yard scoring pass on Taft's first possession of the second half to open up a 24-12 lead for the Toreadors.

The game was tight throughout the first half, with three lead changes, but the momentum seemed to swing in Taft's favor at the end of the half when Crenshaw tried a fake punt on 4th-and-25 in the their own territory. Steve Smith dropped Corey Hudson with 38 seconds left, leaving Taft plenty of time to move into range for a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the half, making the gap 17-12 at halftime.

Taft then scored 21 straight points, extending out to a 38-12 lead on Noah Smith's third score, which came on the first play of the fourth quarter. Justin Tryon had a 29-yard TD run in the third for Taft, who advances to play Dorsey in the LA City Section final next weekend at the LA Coliseum.

- Brian Stumpf

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