After a season of appetizers, it’s finally time for the main course. Lincoln and Lowell are ready for today’s Turkey Bowl, set for 11 a.m. at Kezar Stadium, in what promises to be a tight, entertaining game.
Leading up to the signature event of the Academic Athletic Association season, The Examiner spoke to the league’s six coaches not involved in today’s Turkey Bowl to get the inside scouting report on the big game.
The coaches answered game-related questions on the condition of anonymity.
LINCOLN WILL WIN IF …
» "They can’t let Lowell control the clock. They need to hold the ball for some of those 14-play drives like Lowell does."
» "They stay strong up front and have the safeties come up and make some tackles."
» "Get [running back] David Henderson the ball with the pass a little bit. Lincoln could win the game just on that."
» "They can’t get frustrated. That [Lowell] offense is very mundane, but you have to stay disciplined."
LOWELL WILL WIN IF …
» "They key in on Henderson and make someone else step up."
» "I think Lincoln might get a lead, meaning Lowell would have to incorporate a little more of a passing game."
» "Just keep pounding away and try to tire out Lincoln."
» "Focusing on Henderson and trying to slow him down is definitely the first step."
STOPPING LOWELL’s OFFENSE …
» "Attack anything that moves and get [your defense] off the field."
» "You have to clog up the inside and keep the outside contained and not let them have the ball too much."
» "Treat it like any other offense and convince your players that they can be stopped simply by playing well."
» "You can’t get frustrated or go for the big play, even though it’s very mundane."
STOPPING DAVID HENDERSON …
» "You have to hit him. If you’re not going to hit him, he’s going to run right through you all day."
» "You have to play disciplined and do your job. Because if you let down for one second, he’s gone."
» "Put a couple of licks on him and see if it changes his game."
» "We had one of our better games against Henderson but we forgot about the fullback [Phillippe Lewis]. So you’re kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t."
LINCOLN’s INTANGIBLES …
» "Phillippe rules that team. If he’s doing well, the team is doing well."
» "I think [Lincoln defensive coordinator] Damon Keeve could be the key. He knows how to defend that offense and showed it at Washington for many years."
» "It will be Phillippe’s day if they get caught up watching Henderson too much."
LOWELL’s INTANGIBLES …
» "I think Bismark Navarro is the best back that I’ve seen at Lowell. If I were starting a team I’d take him overany back in the league."
» "That defense is pretty awesome. It’s gone overlooked, but [defensive coordinator Al Gamboa] has done a great job getting them together."
» "Navarro’s kind of a secret weapon. It seems like every time he touches the ball, he scores."