How will the Lincolnton Wolves respond after losing their first game of the season last week? Thatâ€™s the million-dollar question.
But head coach Scott Cloninger has simple answer for fans and his team alike.
â€œWe have to forget about what happened last week. This is a new season and we got to prepare each week from here on out.â€
Cloninger believes this weekâ€™s opponent, South Iredell, will do everything in their power to control the time of possession.
For that reason, heâ€™s reinforced to his team how important will be to get points each time they have the ball.
â€œWhen you have the ball you better take advantage of it, because theyâ€™re going to try to ball control you, so when you have the ball you better score.â€
One positive Cloninger pulled from the loss to the Golden Lions was his receivers caught the ball well, but on the flip side his running backs werenâ€™t able to gain tons of yards.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t move the ball on the ground and thatâ€™s very disturbing. Weâ€™re going to try to get the fullback involved more,â€ Cloninger said, taking the blame that junior fullback Marcus Williams hasnâ€™t touched the football a lot.
The Vikingsâ€™ 3-5 defense is achored by 6â€™2â€ 175-pound safety William Marion who Cloninger says, â€˜will pop you.â€™
The Vikings (2-3) will run the wish-bone or double-wing on offense, but Cloninger is more concerned with how his defense will react after giving up two 100-yard rushers against Shelby.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to play assignment football, but we have to become more aggressive and be more physical on the defensive side of the ball,â€ he said.
When asked about Tavorris Jolly and Doug Scott both topping the century mark, Cloninger felt the blame should spread out and should not rest solely on the defenseâ€™s shoulders.
â€œThatâ€™s concerning and thatâ€™s something weâ€™re trying to correct. Some of the blame goes to the offense because youâ€™re trying to keep the ball away from them.â€
Sophomore Anthony Twaites (5â€™10â€ 180) and freshman Santario White (5â€™8â€ 150) are thunder and lightning for South Iredell.
â€œTheyâ€™re trying to get the ball in those guysâ€™ hands as much as possible. Twaites is the power-type guy and White they want to get on the edge where he can outrun you,â€ Cloninger said.
Cloninger points out the Vikings are No. 1 in the Southern Piedmont in scoring defense, so he doesnâ€™t expect his teamâ€™s conference opener to be a cakewalk.
â€œWe got a big bulls eye on our back. Everybody wants to beat us, because they think weâ€™re the favorite,â€ he said.
â€œWe have to play one game at time and not look ahead,â€ he added.
by John Mark Brooks