It was a night Ryan Sykes and Trent Hopkins soon wonâ€™t forget.
Both players put their teams on their shoulders, refusing to take the loss and both scored four touchdowns.
While Hopkins did take the loss, he did everything in his power to prevent that from happening and to beat East Lincoln for the first time in three years.
â€œHopkins is awesome. I mean you canâ€™t tackle him. If you leave somebody open, bingo, itâ€™s there,â€ East Lincoln head coach Mike Byus said.
â€œSome of our DBs are used to giving a certain coverage cushion, where they can break on the ball. You canâ€™t break on his ball, he throws it too hard,â€ he added.
â€œHis velocity is too good and he knows when to touch it. Heâ€™s a good playerâ€”I hate heâ€™s not a senior.â€
North Lincoln head coach Matt Beam was equally impressed with Sykeâ€™s performance, one of the top six rushing performances in Lincoln County history.
â€œHeâ€™s just good and so fast. I told them we canâ€™t let them run back a kick on us. Sykes can just fly, I mean he can run,â€ Beam said.
â€œWe didnâ€™t get people to him.â€
The 5â€™9â€ Sykes played despite suffering a hip pointer against Lake Norman and missing two days of practice the week leading up to the game.
â€œI told myself I was going to come out and play because it was a big olâ€™ rivalry game and I didnâ€™t really want to lose this game,â€ he said.
The 6â€™1â€ 210-pound quarterback Hopkins, who credited his strong faith in Christ to his career night, admitted the Knights came into East Lincoln a little overconfident.
â€œWe came out here a little cocky, they had only won one game. Pride comes before the fall,â€ he said.
â€œYou got to step it up in times like this, but they wanted it worse than we did.â€
Byus is not surprised by what Sykes can do, after all, heâ€™s seen him put in the work since summer workouts.
â€œHe put his time in this summer. He worked hard and never missed. Not to mention, heâ€™s just a heck-of-a talented individual.â€
by John Mark Brooks