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Mustangs end season with loss

The East Lincoln Mustangs fell to the South Point Red Raiders 47-14 Friday night. The Red Raiders did not run as many offensive plays as the Mustangs, but with Josh Robinson in the mix they didn’t need to.
Robinson led the Red Raiders to their sixth straight Big South 3A Conference crown with 340 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
Head coach Matt Rikard was awed by Robinson’s speed.
“He did a great job. He’s one of the fastest, if not the fastest back, we’ve seen all year,” he said.
The Mustangs played without three starters (a starting wide receiver, running back and defensive back) who opted to not attend practice last Tuesday.
In a year where East Lincoln posted a final record of 2-9, 1-6 in the Big South 3A, Rikard believed their win/loss record didn’t tell the full story.
“In life, victories aren’t always measured on the scoreboard. Sometimes victories are measured on whether or not you pick yourself up. They never gave up all season,” he said.
Rikard plans on returning to the Mustangs as the head coach in 2005.
“As far as I know I’ll be back. I plan on coming back. We’ve got a good situation as far as the conference we’re going into. I knew it was going to take two or three years to rebound from the split of the schools (North and East),” he said.
Turnovers meant the difference in winning two or three more games in Rikard’s estimation.
“We had massive numbers of turnovers every game. It’s not like we were having one or two, we were having five or six.”
Bright spots in the Mustangs’ season finale was Carlos Marquez-Sykes who returned a fumble 16 yards for a score and Xavier Alexander who reeled in two passes for 49 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown.
Next season marks a new beginning for East Lincoln who will be in the conference that will feature all four Lincoln Co. schools.
“Everybody is excited about the new conference. We’ll feel like we’ll be on a level-playing field for the first time in two years as far as our conference opponents. These kids, especially the seniors, were dealt a bad hand having to compete against schools that have 1, 500 kids when we only have 830,” Rikard said.

by John Mark Brooks

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