Lincoln High, after finishing a disappointing 4-7 last year, unveiled a new all-out, swarming defense Friday night and stung Los Angeles Dorsey, 12-6, before 2,000 at Mesa College.
"We feel good. We're back," Lincoln linebacker Michael Brown said after playing a major role in holding powerful Dorsey to only 128 total yards, 64 in each half. To emphasize its accomplishment: Dorsey was the 1989 Los Angeles City Section 4-A champion in 1989 and finished 9-3 last year.
"This was 619 vs. 213," Brown said in reference to the school's area codes. "That's what this was all about."
Lincoln probably would have had a shutout and might have scored in the 30s, but the Hornets committed dozens of errors. Lincoln fumbled nine times and lost four of them. The most costly error was Scott Hammond's fumble on a punt return with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in the first half.
Dorsey recovered at the Hornet 35, and Dorsey quarterback Damon Williams promptly hit Antonio Carrion on a 32-yard streak down the left side line. Sharmon Shah (57 yards in 18 carries) scored on the next play for a 6-0 lead. (All extra-point kicks in the game missed wide right.)
Lincoln came back on its first possession of the second half. After Brown's fumble recovery gave the Hornets good field position, Lincoln drove 43 yards in six plays, and Marlon Scott scored the first of his two one-yard touchdown plunges.
Scott's second touchdown came six minutes later with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. The key plays in the 66-yard drive were a 34-yard pass from quarterback Akili Smith (9-for-19, 137 yards passing) to tight end Alex Davis and a 15-yard face mask penalty on Dorsey after a sack.
With the exception of the scoring pass play near the end of the first half, the Lincoln defense was outstanding, recording six sacks and recovering three fumbles. In addition to Brown, standouts included Freddie Jones, Deketric Harper, Maeland Haskins, Hammond, Davis, Kevin Brown and Kevin Mitchell.
"We've got a couple new lineman and a couple all-league guys," Michael Brown said. "I'm proud of all of them. We're going to the (championship) this year."