It was a showdown that felt like the whole town was watching.
With both bleachers full and people hanging out along the railings, No. 8 seed Edison High School played host to No. 9 Lincoln in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener.
Behind three touchdown passes and more than 300 yards from Treyvon Breckenridge, the Soul Vikings topped the visiting Trojans 35-21 on Friday night for their first win in this series in at least 15 years.
It has been nearly a decade since the programs met. According to MaxPreps Sacramento, these teams have played three times since 2004, with Lincoln winning each matchup: 48-6 in 2004, 13-6 in 2009 and 21-6 in 2010.
The Trojans didn’t have to travel far for this battle of 9-1 Stockton teams. According to the section, the 7.9 miles between the schools was the third-shortest distance between this year’s first-round opponents. Only Pleasant Grove at Monterey Trail in Elk Grove (4.9 miles) and Placer County schools Whitney and Lincoln (5.9 miles) were closer.
Friday’s win, combined with the atmosphere, was exciting for Dmetrio Cavens-Summers. The senior running back amassed nearly 150 total yards on offense and caught two touchdown passes.
“It was a rush,” said Cavens-Summers, who was hyped to see the packed house, including the visitors’ side. “They came out to see something happen, so we wanted to give them a show.”
Now the show moves about an hour north, where Edison (10-1) visits top-seeded Folsom for the second year in a row for a second-round matchup.
Bulldogs coach Paul Doherty was in attendance Friday and had complimentary words for Edison.
“Super impressed, this team is really well-coached,” he said. “They tackle well, they run to the football, they fly around.”
He also spoke highly of Edison assistant coaches Lavelle Hawkins and Tim Brown, whom Doherty said spoke to his Whitney team in 2016.
As for next week’s matchup, Doherty knows some of his players were in last year’s game in which the San Joaquin Athletic Association champions gave up 50 points in the first quarter en route to a 64-28 loss on Nov. 9, 2018.
Despite how Folsom rolled last season, Doherty said it’s a “huge concern” that the players who took part in that game come with the right focus next Friday night.
“All young kids have a tendency to be immature,” he said. “That’s been our accountability piece with them. ... We’re playing our best football now, so hopefully they can respond accordingly.”
Edison coach Booker Guyton has concerns as well. While he’s happy to move on from beating an intercity rival, he knows more work is ahead — and that work can easily be derailed if the Vikings are careless.
“You can’t make the penalties we had tonight and think you’re going to be in a ballgame with Folsom,” said Guyton, whose team saw numerous yellow flags. “We’ve really got to clean that up.”
Despite the officials’ calls against them, Edison’s defense came up strong in shutting out the Tri-City Athletic League runner-up in the second half. Lincoln (9-2) had a few promising second-half drives, but two were stopped by interceptions.
Ball control will be a point of emphasis for Folsom next week.
“Turnovers have been an issue for us this year,” said Doherty, who added the goal is to not only take care of the ball, but also force takeaways. “We’ve scored a bunch of points on defense and really turned the tide in some competitive games late in the year.”
Folsom is looking for its eighth section title this decade. To get it, it’ll take three victories after coming off an opening-round bye. But first, the Bulldogs will have to knock off Edison again.
Cavens-Summers hasn’t forgotten what happened last year. To have a different result, he said it starts with mindset.
“Maintain our spirit. They scored right off the bat and a lot of our team got down in the dumps,” he said. “We weren’t mentally prepared for that game. I think this year, if we’re focused, it’s going to be a good game.”