STOCKTON -- Justin Davis was as good as advertised.
The Lincoln senior showed why he's headed to the University of Southern California on a football scholarship with 311 rushing yards and five touchdowns as the Trojans crushed Merced 52-7 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 playoffs on Friday night.
"Watching him on film, I couldn't remember seeing a better player on film, but I didn't want to say it," said Bears head coach Rob Scheidt. "He's pretty dang good."
Merced struggled to bring Davis down as he put on a show with touchdown runs of 24, 1, 27, 80 and 4 yards before leaving the game after the third quarter with the game out or reach.
Davis showed he's a complete back with speed, power and vision. He ran through tackles and consistently beat Merced to the edge.
"One thing I always tell myself is one person isn't going to bring me down," Davis said. "I try to keep my legs moving at all times."
Merced (7-4) opened the game with a couple of promising drives, but hurt itself with penalties and mistakes.
"It was just little stuff," Scheidt said. "I thought we had a good rhythm early. I thought we had some good plays set up, but in these types of games you have to answer the bell every time."
Lincoln (8-3) had no problems as it scored touchdowns on its first five possessions. Davis had 221 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone on 15 carries.
"That guy is legit," said Merced senior David Keys. "His legs are always moving. There's a reason he's going DI."
Lincoln scored the first 45 points of the game before the Bears finally got on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eli Gutierrez.
Running back Errol Dennis finished with 78 yards on nine carries for Merced.
"I'm proud of the guys," Scheidt said. "We had a great year. I didn't want it to end like this. I didn't think it would end like this."
The fourth quarter was played with a running clock. As the final minutes ticked down the end of the season began hitting many of the Merced players. Keys walked down the sideline thanking his teammates. Jamell Bedford gave senior Josh Villanueva a hug.
"I'm proud of the guys that we made it this far," Keys said. "We were able to get back to the playoffs. I'm always going to love these guys."
Merced had hands full against Lincoln's Justin Davis (Shawn Jansen)
Lincoln's Davis slices through Bears (Shawn Jansen)