With Halloween this coming weekend, West Lincoln Rebelsâ€™ head coach Butch Parker believes his team has been on their own â€˜haunted trail.â€™
The Rebels will end a brutal three-game stretch, that Parker calls the trifecta of terror, that consist of playing Shelby, Bandys and East Rutherford in consecutive weeks.
â€œThis is stage three of three tough football games. Itâ€™s hard for a great football team to have to play these football teams back-to-back-to back, much less a team that is struggling.â€
The East Rutherford Cavaliers run an unconventional 3-5 defensive look that Parker believes is a perfect fit for their personnel.
â€œTheyâ€™re a very talented defensive football team. Their defense spreads you out, instead of you spreading them out,â€ he said.
â€œTo run that defense you have to have excellent team speed. They invite you to do certain things then all of a sudden, bam, itâ€™s closed,â€ Parker added about the Cavsâ€™ defense.
To make the hill even more steep, West Lincoln (4-5, 0-5 Midwest 2A) will be without starting fullback Paul Chambers and Chase Harbinson. Heath Cole is a little more than 60 percent with a knee injury.
â€œWeâ€™re handicapped again with Paul Chambers and Chase Harbinson out. We have to manufacture something because we donâ€™t really have a fullback,â€ Parker said.
Sophomore Taylor Woodie threw for 114 yards against Bandys on eight completions. Parker feels he, Dustin Hester and Ben Poole all proved that passing should be an area they increase.
â€œWeâ€™re going to give Taylor the chance to do that a little more. Weâ€™re going to get the ball in Dustin and Benâ€™s hands, they proved they can catch.â€
The Cavaliers run multiple sets on offense and are led by quarterback Aaron Palmer.
â€œHeâ€™s got to be one of the top athletes in the conference. In addition, to him being a great athlete, heâ€™s very, very smart,â€ Parker said.
So how does Parker view the Cavaliers?
â€œTheyâ€™re very fast and strong. Chaz Jackson and Mozeley are just two more weapons to go with Palmer.â€
The coach is hoping the defense can step up and perform the way they did in the first quarter against Bandys, a quarter that saw them trail 3-0.
â€œWe have to do what we did against Bandys the first quarter. We have to make them drive the ball instead of giving up the big play.â€
Harbinson and Cole both of the Rebelsâ€™ starting safeties are nursing injuries.
The Rebelsâ€™ goal of making the 2A NC Playoffs is still alive. West would have to beat the Chase Trojans in the final game of the season for them to have a solid chance of making the playoffs for the first time.
by John Mark Brooks