Lincolnton squares off against Bunker Hillâ€™s potent offensive attack
Quarterback Mardriekus Mayfield made quite a splash at Homecoming for the Lincolnton Wolves. The freshman QB threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns, but he wonâ€™t be the main man in the huddle on Friday night against the Bunker Hill Bears (4-2, 1-1 in the Midwest 2A)â€” at least not as a starter.
Junior Zack Gibson, who injured his knee against West Lincoln, is expected to be near 100 percent against the Bears and has received medical clearance.
â€œZackâ€™s ready to go, but it will be a tough test because theyâ€™re a very pressuring defense. They apply a lot of pressure in the run game and in the pass game. We just need to protect him and take care of business,â€ head coach Scott Cloninger said.
Mayfield, on the other hand, will be on standby and will also stay on varsity until Cloninger knows Gibson is 100 percent.
â€œHeâ€™s available and has been working at the quarterback position and as a wide receiver this week. As soon as Zack gets healthy, heâ€™s going to go back down to JV where he can gain some more experience,â€ he said.
â€œHe also might spell Zack at times,â€ he added.
The word that Cloninger uses to describe the Bunker Hillâ€™s defense is attacking.
â€œTheyâ€™re a very attacking defense where you got to throw the ball quick, they bring people off the corners, overloading one side and then they have great people in the secondary who cover people,â€ he said.
An integral part of Bunkerâ€™s defense is senior linebacker J.P. Killian.
â€œHeâ€™s (J.P.) is one of the best linebackers in the conference. Heâ€™s sitting back there behind that eight-man front just waiting to make plays.â€
With Demarious Miller, Martin Turbeville and the afforementioned Killian on offenseâ€” the Bears are an explosive offense. Cloninger and staff have definitely taken notice.
â€œThey have multiple weapons to go to. Our concern is just trying to slow them down,â€ he said.
Killian not only impresses Lincolnton as a linebacker but also as a running back.
â€œHeâ€™s a real, hard solid runner. If he gets a running start at you, youâ€™re not going to be able to tackle him. You have to try to slow him down and keep him from getting up a head of steam,â€ Cloninger said.
The quarterback Turbeville can beat a team with his arm or his legs.
â€œHe runs the option very well and throws the ball on the run. Weâ€™re got to understand, weâ€™ve got pass first. We have to make sure itâ€™s a running play before we come off our receiver,â€ Cloninger said.
The coach believes that it will be key for his team to play with emotion but not get caught up in it.
â€œItâ€™s a very intense game and being able to take the good and the bad will be key. We need to keep an even keel and understand that you have to maintain and play under control and not lose your composure.â€
The Wolves enter the game 4-2 with a chance to make their Midwest 2A Conference record 3-0 with a win over the Bears.
â€œItâ€™s a huge game for us for position in the conference and for playoff positioning,â€ Cloninger said.
by John Mark Brooks