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Mustangs face tough test in opener

The East Lincoln Mustangs open their football season against one of the most difficult opponents they’ll face all season, the Bandys Trojans at their place.

To make matters worse, the Mustangs’ defense will have to come up with a way to limit 2,000 yard tailback Chris Spade.

Mustangs’ head coach Matt Rikard raves about Spade’s ability.
“He’s a phenomenal runner, great speed and great vision. He just always knows where to cut.”
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.
“We’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,” Rikard said.
In addition to trying to corral Spade, East is also looking to win the turnover battle.
“We have to create turnovers and give us the ball in good field position,” Rikard said.

Rikard believes his team will have to eliminate mental and physical mistakes that have plagued them in the preseason.
“ The No. 1 key is we can’t turn the ball over. For whatever reason that has seemed to plague us during the scrimmages. We also can’t jump offsides and we can’t afford to put ourselves in a hole against Bandys,” 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.
“It’s been happening when the quarterback or running back is fighting for more yardage, but it’s happening way too frequently.

When asked the biggest key for his team, Rikard did not hesitate.
“We 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 don’t have it, they can’t score,” he said.
“We feel like we can get some picks (interceptions) and we have some athletes that can take it back and put points on the board.”
The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be at Bandys. by John Mark Brooks

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