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Lincoln dominates 7-on-7 football competition

07/05/2019, 7:50pm PDT
By John Maffei

Lincoln High School head football coach David Dunn looks on at practice on Monday, December 10th, 2018, ahead of the Hornets' state championship game on Friday.

Lincoln High football coach David Dunn admits he doesn’t do a lot of coaching in the summer.

“I like to stand back and observe,” he said. “I like to let my assistants coach and the players play.”

What Dunn witnessed during the recently concluded summer 7-on-7 passing tournaments was a dominant Hornets squad.

Lincoln started the summer winning the Madison Tournament, winning at Hilltop, winning at USD and finished by beating Torrey Pines on the last play at Southwestern College in the semifinals, then beating Point Loma to take home a fourth summer championship.

The Hornets lost to Premium Supreme, an all-star team, in the championship game of the USC Tournament after beating that team by 21 earlier in the day.

The USC event featured Pro Way, another all-star team, Bellflower St. John Bosco, Gardena Serra and Santa Ana Mater Dei, which lost to Lincoln.

USCfootball.com said, “It was clear Lincoln wide receiver Keyshawn Smith wanted to make a lasting impression on the Trojans coaching staff. Smith made the tough catches over the middle, but mainly stretched the defense for big yardage down the sidelines.

“Smith has scholarship offers from Mountain West schools, but showed he’s definitely a Pac-12-level player. Wide receiver is the one position USC has plenty of good options, so while Smith may not spring to the top of the Trojans target board, he will be a player to watch for this season. Smith has the ability to play inside or outside receiver spots in a spread offense with his speed and 6-foot, 180-pound frame.”

Smith caught 47 passes for 1,000 yards last season, including six receptions for 180 yards and three TDs against Culver City in a Southern California Regional championship game.

Dunn also singled out slot/linebacker Curon Brown-Dunn, receiver/outside linebacker Marquese Allen-Patmon, slot Benjamin O’Brien — a transfer from Westview — and running back Leviticus Tharpe.

“The main thing I want to see is how we compete,” Dunn said.

“We beat Premium earlier at USC, then got a little full of ourselves and lost in the final.

“The most-intense game we played was against Torrey Pines in the semis at Southwestern. For the third year in a row, the game came down to the wire (Lincoln winning on the last play).

“Torrey Pines is going to kick some butt this season.

“I want to see how we pull together in those kinds of games.

“I want to see who my leaders are. The kids want to know who the captains are. I tell them that’s something they determine through their play, their work in the weight room and work in the classroom.

“That’s where captains emerge.”

Dunn said that while most observers see Lincoln as just a group of skilled athletes who should dominate in 7-on-7 situations, the Hornets are a well-rounded squad.

The Hornets were 11-5 last season, beating Mira Mesa 23-3 in the San Diego Section Division II title game and edging Culver City 54-42 to win the SoCal 3-AA championship before traveling to Redwood City and falling 21-7 to Menlo-Atherton in a state title contest.

Success over the last three seasons — a 27-12 record — means Lincoln moves to Division I in the San Diego Section this season and possibly into the Open Division.

“We enjoyed last season,” Dunn said. “We’ve shown we’re more than a 7-on-7 team.

“Challenges are good. Challenges build character.”

Summer highlights

La Costa Canyon Tournament: Torrey Pines beat Ramona to win the Gold Division. The Falcons beat El Camino (38-8), Vista (34-12), Westview (28-8), Vista again (35-10) and Oceanside (34-14) on the way to the title. Oceanside, which has used four quarterbacks this summer, was unbeaten before losing to Torrey Pines in the semis. Scripps Ranch beat Valley Center to win the Green Division. The Falcons beat LCC, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Buena Vista and San Marcos on their way to the title. Vista made a nice impression, and Mt. Carmel had wins over Valley Center and Del Norte before losing to Oceanside and San Marcos.

Escondido Tournament: La Costa Canyon went 6-0, beating San Marcos in the semis and El Camino in the final. Quarterback Marshall Eucker, who had 15 TDs without an interception in a tournament in Orange County, had a tremendous summer.

USD Tournament: Lincoln edged Poway 18-11 in the championship game. Lincoln beat University City (33-0) in the semis while Poway edged Point Loma by a point. Point Loma beat Helix in the quarterfinals while University City beat Xavier Prep.

Edison Battle at the Beach: Mission Hills went 3-1 in pool play, beating Rancho Cucamonga, Gardena Serra and Corona Centennial before losing to Anaheim Servite in the playoffs. Cathedral Catholic was playing without quarterback DJ Ralph, who was nursing a minor injury. The Dons lost three close games while playing Oaks Christian, Edison, Long Beach Poly and Servite.

San Diego State Week 1: Helix beat Mission Hills for one title. In the other bracket, Oceanside went 8-0.

Southwestern Tournament: Lincoln won the 31-team event. Crawford was 3-0 before losing in the quarterfinals along with El Camino and Eastlake.


July 30: First day of practice

Aug. 15: First possible scrimmage

Aug. 23: First possible game

Nov. 1: Last day of regular season

Nov. 2: Playoff pairings announced

Nov. 8: First round of playoffs for Division I through Division V

Nov. 15: Quarterfinals for Division I through Division V

Nov. 15: Semifinals for Open Division

Nov. 22: Semifinals for Division I through Division V

Nov. 23: Championship for Open Division at Southwestern College

Nov. 29: Championship for Division V, location TBA

Nov. 29-30: Championships for Division I through Division IV at Southwestern College

Dec. 6-7: Southern California championships

Dec. 13-14: State championship bowl games


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