The East Lincoln Mustangs open their football season against one of the most difficult opponents theyâ€™ll face all season, the Bandys Trojans at their place.
To make matters worse, the Mustangsâ€™ defense will have to come up with a way to limit 2,000 yard tailback Chris Spade.
Mustangsâ€™ head coach Matt Rikard raves about Spadeâ€™s ability.
â€œHeâ€™s a phenomenal runner, great speed and great vision. He just always knows where to cut.â€
Part of containing Spade will happen way before East takes the field on Friday night, it will start with a defensive game plan devised by Rikard and staff.
â€œWeâ€™re hoping to limit him. The defensive game plan we have in is we believe we can out-number them where we feel like they are going to run the football,â€ Rikard said.
In addition to trying to corral Spade, East is also looking to win the turnover battle.
â€œWe have to create turnovers and give us the ball in good field position,â€ Rikard said.
Rikard believes his team will have to eliminate mental and physical mistakes that have plagued them in the preseason.
â€œ The No. 1 key is we canâ€™t turn the ball over. For whatever reason that has seemed to plague us during the scrimmages. We also canâ€™t jump offsides and we canâ€™t afford to put ourselves in a hole against Bandys,â€ he said.
Although fumbling the football has been a problem, Rikard feels most of the fumbles have been caused due to players make trying to make something happen.
â€œItâ€™s been happening when the quarterback or running back is fighting for more yardage, but itâ€™s happening way too frequently.
When asked the biggest key for his team, Rikard did not hesitate.
â€œWe have to win the turnover battle. For us, on defense our game plan is to try to limit the number of snaps because of course if they donâ€™t have it, they canâ€™t score,â€ he said.
â€œWe feel like we can get some picks (interceptions) and we have some athletes that can take it back and put points on the board.â€
The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be at Bandys. by John Mark Brooks