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Wolves riding high

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.
“It should help us because it’s senior night. That will be one of the last regular season games for those seniors,” head coach Scott Cloninger said.

Offense
Against Bessemer City a week ago, Lincolnton’s offense barely made it on the field. The reason? Shane ‘Made Em’ Faw took back three for touchdowns in the kicking game. While the breakout performance may have shocked some, don’t count Cloninger among that group.
“He’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,” he said of Faw, who has five return touchdowns on the season.
“It’s a pleasant surprise, but not a big surprise,” he added.
After not returning any for touchdowns for the first time in a long time, to say Faw has gotten the Wolves’ return game back on track would be a severe understatement.
Perhaps, the most impressive element of Lincolnton’s punt return is, the ‘wall,’ that calls for the returner to get behind a wall of blockers, is the way the Wolves have ran their punt return since the 1960’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 touchdowns—no matter how they come.
“We need to be able to run the football and execute. We played fairly well last week, but the offense wasn’t on the field too much,” he said. “We need to continue to work on our game, run the football and pass it,” he added.

Defense
The Ironmen boast a group of talented receivers in 6’3” receivers Jamelle Jefferies, Kalem Johnson and 5’8” Al Benson. Sophomore Cameron Lovelace has also shown he can get them the football in position to make plays.
“They’re more of a passing team than a running team. We’re going to have to play better pass defense than we did against Bessemer City,” Cloninger said. “Our big thing is being in the right coverage and in the right position to defend a quality group of receivers.”

X-Factor
With 19 seniors in the fold for Lincolnton, including leaders Zack Gibson and Lance ‘Thank God It’s’ Friday, Cloninger knows his team could easily get caught up in the emotion of the night—something he does not want to see happen.
“A lot of their friends and family will be there and they have to be able to play under control,” he said.
by John Mark Brooks

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