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Knights head into open week frustrated

North Lincoln head coach Matt Beam has no hard feeling towards South Iredell coach J.K. Atkins.
In fact, despite a frustrating 14-0 loss (the Knights only had a season-low 94 yards), Beam believed he would’ve done the same thing had he been in position to postpone the game or not.
“I can’t blame Coach Atkins (J.K.) for playing it. I would want to play it too if I had his team. They’re real good defensively and he knew the rain wasn’t going to affect his offense that much because they like to run the football,” he said.
“He knew it would disrupt us and it did. It wasn’t a good situation. The players had no footing and the field was in terrible shape,” Beam added.
Seventeen fumbles was the number the two teams combined on Friday, which bested the combined first downs by two.
The main concern Beam had in the monsoon-like conditions was getting someone hurt. Fortunately, that did not happen.
In fact, that’s the lone positive Beam was able to pull from the disheartening loss. Disheartening because many believe the Knights would have won had the game been played in dry conditions.
While he was not happy with having to play, Beam refuses to use the bad weather as a excuse. He knows both teams had a sloppy field and conditions to deal with.
“We had some turnovers to hurt us. It was wet and when you’re trying to hold onto a wet ball it’s just tough,” he said.
“This game is for the kids and it just sucks because none of them could display their talent,” he added.
Despite the loss, the Knights are open this week, so with three Southern Piedmont games remaining North Lincoln is expected to be in good shape in terms of team health.
Currently at 4-4, 1-2, Beam feels there have been too many plays they’ve left on the field and too many mental mistakes.
“We’re happy, but we’re just beating ourselves because we felt a couple of games got away from us. Just mental mistakes are shooting us in the foot,” he said.
Beam feels the Knights could have set themselves up a little better and not been in the situation where they have to win two of the last three games to make the playoffs.
“Cherryville is a must. If you win five, where are they going to send you,” Beam asked, knowing if they beat the Ironmen it will give them five wins on the season.
Even with a win next week, Beam and his team are shooting for an upset of West Lincoln or Lincolnton to, in Beam’s mind, lock up a playoff berth.
“The way I’m looking at it is we have to win two out of the next three. That’s the way I want my team to approach it mentally,” he said.
Brandon Mull was the main producer for North with 67 yards on 16 carries.
by John Mark Brooks

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