The score 40-12 has been etched in Rebelsâ€™ head coach Butch Parkerâ€™s head for a year now. In Parkerâ€™s estimation the East Lincoln Mustangs ran up the score on his home field.
Although, a year has passed Parker has not changed his opinion.
â€œI felt like a year ago they came to our place and embarrassed us. After a relatively close first half the game got out of hand. Itâ€™s not their job to stop themselves, itâ€™s our job to stop them but there were some late scores that still stick with me and thatâ€™s a motivating factor for us,â€ he said.
The Rebelsâ€™ running game was hitting on all cylinders in their home opening win over Fred T. Foard. Sophomore signal caller Taylor Woodie ran for 136 yards, fullback Paul Chambers rushed for 98 yards and Will Tallent had 80 yards.
Woodie also threw for two touchdowns, one to Ben Poole and one to Dustin Hester. Parker hopes his squad can be just as successful this week against the Mustangs.
â€œWe have to continue to do what we did last week. We have to effectively run the football and throw it with the efficiency that we did last time,â€ he said.
Standing in the Rebelsâ€™ way will be a stingy green and orange defense that limited stud senior running back Chris Spade to 68 yards. The defensive performance was not missed by Parker or his staff.
â€œThey got a good defense. They held Chris Spade to 68 yards and of course we respect hat and honor that. Weâ€™re an option team so weâ€™re going to run the option, but itâ€™s going to be a bit harder this week against a team that held an all-state candidate under 100 yards.â€
The Mustangsâ€™ junior tailback Ryan Sykes rushed the ball 18 times for 120 yards against a traditionally strong defense. That solid play is cause of concern for Parker.
â€œHeâ€™s a fine running back and he has a lot of speed. We have to concentrate, not just on him, but on their entire running game because thatâ€™s what they want to do is run the football,â€ he said.
Sykes is not the only athlete that stands out to Parker when looking at his opposition.
â€œWe have to force them to throw the football. We also have to cover No. 1 (Thomas Huntley) because he can motor so we need very good coverage on him,â€ he said.
Parker believes the x-factor for his football team is the embarrassing home loss they were served last year.
â€œIt would have been a long 366 days before Friday night gets here,â€ he said.
He also believes that the nature of the rivalry would exist even if things didnâ€™t transpire the way they did last year.
â€œItâ€™s a natural rivalry. I donâ€™t know if the county championship still exist with North in the mix, but we certainly want to lay claim to being the best county school. We canâ€™t live off last week, we have to make it happen every week,â€ Parker said.
by John Mark Brooks