The hare beat the tortoise in one of the best Turkey Day Games in its 90-year history Thursday at Kezar Stadium.
As he's done all season, Galileo (San Francisco)
senior quarterback Kyle Nelson
produced touchdown - all five of them in fact, giving him 58 on the season - in a 34-30 San Francisco Section title game win over Lincoln (San Francisco)
that featured big plays, long drives, two defensive gems and one punt.
As per the script, Galileo (12-1) used Nelson and its quick-strike offense to produce scoring drives of 5, 2, 2 4 and 1 play. Nelson (8 of 11, 242 yards) completed touchdown passes of 62 yards to
, 80 yards to Dontell Jackson
and 13 yards to Isaac Armstrong
, and ran for scores of 17 and 2 yards.
The Lions ran off just 25 plays all day.
"That's what we do - go fast," Nelson said. "We have fast guys, we score fast and try to beat teams with our speed. It's worked all season and it worked one more time today.
"It's been a magical season and finishing it off like this is the best feeling ever."
Lincoln (7-5), meanwhile, the defending champion, chewed up yards on the ground and time off the clock behind Tyree Marzetta
(36 carries, 200 yards, 1 TD) and Davion Telfor
(24-129, 2 TDs, 3 2-point conversions).
The Mustangs ran off 67 plays and had scoring drives of 11, 10, 12 and 10 plays. Lincoln held a 373-297 edge in yards, but two costly turnovers and three untimely penalties proved to be the difference.
Galileo, which won its 16th SFS title, didn't turn the ball over. Then again, it rarely had it.
"We played great, especially on offense," said Lincoln coach Phil Ferrigno, who led the Mustangs to their seventh title game in 12 years."We did what we wanted to do. They just played a little better. Hats off to them."
With all the back-and-forth offense, it was a defensive play by Galileo's Lala Haro
that proved decisive.
After Galileo took a 28-24 lead on Armstrong's TD catch, Lincoln was driving to what looked like a go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. But a first-down run was nullified by a holding penalty and on 3rd-and-17, a halfback option pass from Telfor was intercepted by Haro who made a superb over-the-shoulder catch.
He then sprinted 81 yards down the sideline before being knocked out of bounds, setting up a 2-yard TD sneak from Nelson on the next play to give Galileo a 34-24 lead with 9:08 remaining.
Haro had filled in for injured tailback Ronzel Fox
the last three games, and piled up 294 yards and three scores. But with Fox back, Haro didn't carry the ball on Thursday. No matter. He found a way to contribute mightily.
"That's the kind of guy Lala is," Galileo coach Mark Huynh said. "He's total team guy. Will do whatever it takes. That play was huge."
Said Nelson: "I said all week that our defense was going to win the game for us and that play did it."
Lincoln gamely came right back and closed to 34-30 on a 24-yard touchdown run by Akeal Lalaind
on fourth down with 4:48 left. Lalaind took the reverse pitch on a 4th-and-10 play.
Lalaind then made a third-down sack, forcing the first punt of the game and Lincoln got the ball back at the Galileo 48 with 2:50 left.
But after a first down, Lincoln quarterback
was hit hard by a number of Galileo defenders, fumbled and Joey Winterstein recovered for the Lions to seal it.
It was the first SFS title since 2009 for the Lions, who have now qualified for a possible NorCal regional Division II berth. Those spots are picked by the CIF commissioners in two weeks.
"No matter what, it's been an amazing season and I'm so happy we finished off what we started," Huynh said. "But we are 12-1 and averaged 50 points a game. It would be nice to have that chance to move on."
Galileo 34, Lincoln 30
Lincoln (7-5) 8 8 8 6 — 30
Galileo (12-1) 8 6 14 6 — 34First quarter
L — Tyree Marzetta 4 run (Davion Telfor run), 6:49
G — Kyle Nelson 17 run (Ronzel Fox run), 5:27
L — Telfor 5 run (Telfor run), 1:18
G — Todd Holland 62 pass from Nelson (run failed), 28.6Third quarter
G — Dontell Jackson 80 pass from Nelson (run fails), 11:14
L — Telfor 6 run (Telfor run), 4:10
G — Isaac Armstrong 13 pass from Nelson (Nelson run), 3:24Fourth quarter
G — Nelson 2 run (run failed), 9:08
L — Akeal Lalaind 24 run (run failed), 4:48
Lincoln: Marzetta 36-200, Telfor 24-129, Lalaind 1-24, Chiong 3-9. Total: 64-362.
Galileo: Nelson 5-31, Fox 7-24. Total 12-55PASSING
Lincoln: Chiong 1-3-0-11, Telfor 0-1-0-1.
Galileo: Nelson 8-11-242-0RECEIVING
Lincoln: Telfor 1-11
Galileo: Jackson 3-125, Armstrong 3-40, Holland 1-62, Fox 1-15TEAM STATISTICSFirst downs:
Lincoln 22, Galileo 10Total yards:
Lincoln 373, Galileo 297Turnovers:
Lincoln 2, Galileo 0Penalties:
Lincoln 8-70, Galileo 3-20E-mail Mitch Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for more photos later