Things could not be much better for the Lincolnton Wolves right now. After outscoring their last two opponents 115-26, the Wolves will look to make senior night memorable against the Cherryville Ironmen.
â€œIt should help us because itâ€™s senior night. That will be one of the last regular season games for those seniors,â€ head coach Scott Cloninger said.
Against Bessemer City a week ago, Lincolntonâ€™s offense barely made it on the field. The reason? Shane â€˜Made Emâ€™ Faw took back three for touchdowns in the kicking game. While the breakout performance may have shocked some, donâ€™t count Cloninger among that group.
â€œHeâ€™s got a knack for returns. It takes a special person to be a good return man. He gets to his blocks very well and reads his blocks,â€ he said of Faw, who has five return touchdowns on the season.
â€œItâ€™s a pleasant surprise, but not a big surprise,â€ he added.
After not returning any for touchdowns for the first time in a long time, to say Faw has gotten the Wolvesâ€™ return game back on track would be a severe understatement.
Perhaps, the most impressive element of Lincolntonâ€™s punt return is, the â€˜wall,â€™ that calls for the returner to get behind a wall of blockers, is the way the Wolves have ran their punt return since the 1960â€™s under legendary coach Von Ray Harris.
Cloninger would like to see his offense on the field more this week, but no coach would be opposed to three touchdownsâ€”no matter how they come.
â€œWe need to be able to run the football and execute. We played fairly well last week, but the offense wasnâ€™t on the field too much,â€ he said. â€œWe need to continue to work on our game, run the football and pass it,â€ he added.
The Ironmen boast a group of talented receivers in 6â€™3â€ receivers Jamelle Jefferies, Kalem Johnson and 5â€™8â€ Al Benson. Sophomore Cameron Lovelace has also shown he can get them the football in position to make plays.
â€œTheyâ€™re more of a passing team than a running team. Weâ€™re going to have to play better pass defense than we did against Bessemer City,â€ Cloninger said. â€œOur big thing is being in the right coverage and in the right position to defend a quality group of receivers.â€
With 19 seniors in the fold for Lincolnton, including leaders Zack Gibson and Lance â€˜Thank God Itâ€™sâ€™ Friday, Cloninger knows his team could easily get caught up in the emotion of the nightâ€”something he does not want to see happen.
â€œA lot of their friends and family will be there and they have to be able to play under control,â€ he said.
by John Mark Brooks