SAN JOSE -- Three years after San Jose High player Matt Blea nearly died from a skull fracture in the Big Bone Game, another San Jose player was taken off the field in an ambulance Thursday in the annual Thanksgiving Day game.

Sophomore lineman Isaiah Espinoza suffered what his coach called a "stinger in the neck" and "tingling down his lower legs."

Espinoza had movement in his extremities and was transported from the field at San Jose City College to nearby Valley Medical Center for precautionary measures, San Jose coach Darrell Williams said.

The injury occurred with Lincoln leading 55-6 midway through the fourth quarter and delayed the game — the 70th in the series -- for about 30 minutes while paramedics treated Espinoza.

Lincoln won 55-13.

The day began with great hope for San Jose, which has not beaten its rival since 1997.

Confident after an undefeated season and its first league title in 63 years, the Bulldogs (10-1) intercepted a pass on Lincoln's first series and were driving for the game's first score with a first down at the Lions' 23.

But a fumble ended the drive, and soon Lincoln was on its way to extending its winning streak over San Jose to 15 with another blowout victory.

"That play changed the whole momentum," Williams, San Jose's second-year coach, said of the fumble. "It changed the whole momentum of the game and brought the doubt back into us. When we were able to get them off the field in their first series, we were thinking, 'This is what we want.'"


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Instead, Lincoln got what it wanted, spoiling San Jose's perfect season while closing out its year with its 10th win in 11 games.

Cristapher Ortez scored on runs of 66 and 31 yards, and Jacob Avery had scoring runs of 43 and 6 yards for the Lions.

Lincoln took advantage of four first-half turnovers to build a 34-0 lead after two quarters.

The lead ballooned to 55-6 after three quarters as Francisco Cruz's 40-yard interception return was sandwiched between touchdowns runs by Ortez and Avery.

Christopher Azure returned an interception 20 yards for a score in the first half to give Lincoln a 20-0 lead.

Avery led the Lions with 157 yards rushing in eight carries.

"We knew at the beginning of the year our offense was going to run through him," Lincoln coach Kevin Collins said. "He worked hard in the off season. He's one of the best backs I've ever coached."

Avery said San Jose's perfect record served as motivation.

"There was a lot of talk compared to the last few years," Avery said. "We just had to come out and do what we do — Lincoln High School football. That's what we're about. Keep our mouth shut and keep playing.

"It feels wonderful. We've been through so much this year to be league champs and then to come out on the 70th year and do what we did, it feels wonderful."

Ortez finished with 129 yards on the ground.

Tarik Ballard got San Jose on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 30-yard interception return. The Bulldogs added a 1-yard touchdown pass from David Riley to Romie Rodriguez in the closing seconds. Riley replaced Gabriel Miranda, who injured a shoulder, in the second half.

"We were too nervous," Williams said. "Total inconsistency today. It was one-sided, but it was about plays. We haven't thrown a pick six all year. It seemed like today we were a little bit skittish."

For more on high school sports, see Darren Sabedra's After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/DarrenSabedra.