Placer vs. Lincoln

Placer Hillmen @ Lincoln Fighting Zebras

Friday, October 26, 2018 7:00 PM

Although these two bitter football enemies had already been rumbling on the turf, some say this rivalry did not start boiling over until Placer and a trio of other schools joined Lincoln, Bear River and Colfax in the Pioneer Valley League in 2006.

Despite taking it on the chin by the Hillmen in 2004 and 2005, the Fighting Zebras welcomed Placer into the league with open arms before claiming three wins in the first four seasons both schools competed in the conference. Placer punched back with six straight wins beginning in 2010, and now holds an 8-4 advantage over Lincoln since joining the PVL.

Although they don’t have a rivalry name, or play for a trophy, Lincoln and Placer have plenty to squabble about when they step onto the football field on that one particular Friday in the fall. If pride isn’t enough, maybe the league crown is. Since 2006, the PVL league title was won or shared by Lincoln and Placer seven times.

Conference championships often lead to playoff berths, and neither of these squads has been shy about playing beyond the regular season. Between them, the Hillmen and the Fighting Zebras have earned 18 playoff berths since 2006 and are responsible for posting a 17-18 postseason record collectively.

As realignment interrupts PVL play one more time in 2018, Lincoln and Placer refuse to go their separate ways. Both schools reside in the newly formed Foothill Valley League. While the Fighting Zebras are down with dethroning the defending Sac-Joaquin Division 4 state champions, Placer foresees one more Lincoln flogging on the football field in 2018.

About 3,000 football fans are expected to fill the Edward Alexander Grey Sports Complex to the brim on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. So grab your friends, slide into the best seats in the house and take in one of the finest black eye football clashes in California.

Riverly Series Hashtags

  • #BeatLincoln
  • #BeatPlacer

Who will win?

Learn More About the Teams

@ Lincoln High School
Placer Hillmen Lincoln, CA
Loveland Tigers
Lincoln Fighting Zebras Lincoln, CA


Placer Hillmen

Auburn, CA

Placer High School, home of the Hillmen, is located about fourteen and a half miles east of Lincoln High School on California Highway 193 at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With nearly 1,400 football-craving students ready to take it on the chin for their football team, the Hillmen will compete in Division 4 of the Sac-Joaquin Section this fall.

Hillmen coach Joey Montoya, who is 98-39 at Placer, grabbed the reigns from Mike Sabins in 2007 and never looked back, taking eight of his 11 battles with the Fighting Zebras so far. After failing in his first attempt to upend Lincoln, Montoya won seven of the next eight rivalry encounters beginning in 2008.

Placer then dropped a 48-34 decision to Lincoln in 2016, before rebounding with a 49-20 trouncing a year ago. Going back to 2004, Placer has claimed 10 of the last 14 rounds they’ve gone with the Fighting Zebras.

Montoya has aced it in the Sac-Joaquin playoffs as well, qualifying for postseason play every year with the Hillmen except in 2007. The 12th-year head coach has guided his squad into 26 postseason battles and won 16 of them. Placer played for Sac-Joaquin state championships in 2008, 2009 and 2016 before breaking through and taking a 42-32 Division 4 state title win from Center last fall.

The Hillmen then dropped a 46-43 decision to Crenshaw in the Division 4-AA State Championship Bowl Game last December. The Hillmen, however, have had time to think and refocus. As Placer sees it, their first order of business come October is to put the Fighting Zebras in their place once again before going on another long postseason run.


Lincoln Fighting Zebras

Lincoln, CA

Lincoln High School, home of the Fighting Zebras, is located about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento on Interstate 80 in Placer County, California. With about 1,450 pigskin extremists eager to yell at the top of their lungs for their football team, the Fighting Zebras will compete in Division 4 of the Sac-Joaquin Section this fall.

Fighting Zebra coach Chris Bean, who is 21-22 at Lincoln, replaced Ken Lowe at the helm of the Lincoln football program in 2014 and has come out victorious once in four encounters with the Hillmen. Bean failed in his first two attempts at pummeling Placer, but took it to the Hillmen 48-34 in 2016.

Starting in 2006, Lincoln claimed three of four Fighting Zebras-Placer conflicts, outscoring their gridiron foe 75-68 for the four contests. Lincoln struggled through a 1-9 season in 2014 before improving to 6-5 in both 2015 and 2016. Bean then guided the Fighting Zebras to an 8-3 mark in just his fourth season last fall.

The Fighting Zebras have missed the playoffs just four times since 2006 and earned postseason bids under Bean in each of the last three seasons. While competing in the Pioneer Valley League, the Fighting Zebras claimed conference titles in 2009 and 2016 and took the runner-up spot in 2004, 2015 and 2017.

Now that Lincoln is battling for conference championships on a regular basis, the Fighting Zebras are eager to take their gridiron success statewide alongside hated foe Placer. Only this fall, Lincoln foresees a Fighting Zebra win over the Hillmen and a long postseason run of their own.