Game Between Lincoln and Morse Is a Big One in Any Football Season

A traffic advisory for the Kearny Mesa area:

Beware of stop-and-go conditions on the eastbound lanes of Mesa College Drive this evening.

The reason: Tonight at 7 on the Mesa College football field, Morse High will play Lincoln. The rivalry annually has attracted standing-room-only crowds, some of the largest outside of San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, and with the programs’ continuing quality and support, this game will be no different.

Those attending are advised to arrive early. Last year, Morse scored three first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 40-12 victory. In 1986, Lincoln scored early and often, routing Morse, 51-0.


The series has included high-scoring games (Morse 57, Lincoln 26 in 1983) and defensive games (Lincoln 6, Morse 0 in 1985) and has been contested by some of the biggest names in San Diego CIF history, including Marcus Allen, Steve Taylor, Mark McLemore and Larry Maxey.

While there have been some big games--Morse 11, Lincoln 0 in the 1976 playoffs and Lincoln 12, Morse 0 in the Hornets’ 12-0-1 championship season of 1977--this one mostly is for bragging rights in Southeast San Diego.

Matchups and similarities in 1988:

The coaches: John Shacklett is in his 18th year at Morse and has a 116-59-7 record. In two stints at Lincoln covering 12 seasons, Vic Player is looking for victory No. 99 against 26 losses and 2 ties. Shacklett and Player are 3-3 against each other, 1-0 with each other (they were co-coaches of the San Diego all-star team that defeated Los Angeles, 17-14, this summer).


Records: Both teams are 3-1, having lost their second games after traveling outside the county for openers. Morse flew to Hawaii to beat up on St. Anthony, 63-8, then lost, 14-7, to Mission Viejo (ranked No. 8 in Southern California by Cal-Hi Sports). Lincoln escaped its opener in La Puente with a 19-10 victory over Nogales, the lost to defending 3-A champ Point Loma, 14-0.

Offense: Led by Jesse Campbell (97.5 yards rushing per game and 5 touchdowns), Morse is averaging 27.2 points. Mike Liera is the regular quarterback, but Shacklett said Jimmy Rose will start tonight to give him game experience.

For the Hornets, Orlanzo Edwards (136 yards rushing per game, 4 touchdowns) leads an offense averaging 21.8 points. David Drake is the quarterback.

Defense: Morse has allowed just 8 points per game, Lincoln 10. Morse is led by safety Darrel Lewis and linebacker Tyrone Morrison (6-feet 4-inches, 240 pounds), who has 3 interceptions. Lincoln counters with linebacker Leonard Hill and safety Victor Dean, who also has 3 interceptions.