The North Lincoln Knights (3-7, 1-4 Southern Foothills 1A) are still riding high after a 42-40 double-overtime win over Cedar Ridge. Itâ€™s certain that if head coach Lonnie Custer could capture this feeling of euphoria he would.
â€œWe have to continue the momentum (both of play and emotion) from last week. We have to stay two-dimensional and utilize the talent we have at running back and at receiver,â€ Custer said.
The stars in the Knightsâ€™ victory were quarterback Trent Hopkins and wide receiver Lesharion Johnson. Johnson caught eight balls for 84 yards and three touchdowns, including a clutch, one-handed spectacular game-winner on a 10-yard play.
Custer feels good about the North wide receivers among position groups.
â€œLesharion has developed into another good receiver. Between Devin and Nathan, we have a quality trio at receiver,â€ he said.
Hopkins threw for 143 yards with four touchdowns and added another 128 yards rushing with one TD.
To aid the Knightsâ€™ effort against the Cherryville Ironmen (0-9, 0-4 SF 1A) they get Bradley Smith and Aaron Mintun back in the fold of the offensive line.
â€œWeâ€™re going to have some more depth in the O-line this week. Weâ€™re kind of thin on the offensive and defensive line, so it will give us the ability to rotate a lot more,â€ Custer said.
The Ironmen run a wide-open offense that involves multiple sets and trying to hit the homerun ball. Custer believes two games in particular will come into play against Cherryville.
â€œWeâ€™ve faced Charlotte Christian and Cedar Ridge who liked to throw the ball. Itâ€™s a good opportunity for defensive backs. Our conference is predominantly a run-oriented league, so itâ€™s going to be a challenge for them,â€ he said.
Commanding plenty of attention, from the Knights, will be tight end Brock Alexander who also excels on defense.
â€œWe have to know where he is on both sides of the ball. Heâ€™s a very solid two-way player,â€ Custer said.
Although Cherryville enters the game winless, Custer feels they are a more solid opponent.
â€œTheyâ€™re a lot better than their record. We have to make sure we take advantage of a good opportunity. We have a chance to get a pretty good seed with a victory. Cherryville will be motivated because this is an opportunity for them to extend their season,â€ he said.
Does Custer believe his team has already qualified for the 1A Playoffs? Heâ€™s not so sure.
â€œI told our kids we donâ€™t take anything for granted. With a victory we assure ourselves a playoff spot. We want it in our own hands and not based on recordsâ€¦ we want to get in by a win Friday night.â€by John Mark Brooks