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Wolves ready for first round

Anyone clad in black and gold is happy the Lincolnton Wolves were rewarded with a No. 1 seed. And while Lincolnton coaches and players alike feel good about that, they also know just as quickly as they earned their impressive 10-0 record and No. 1 ranking in the state, they can go home.
That’s the message head coach Scott Cloninger has been sending to his team as the Wolves welcome No. 16 seed Mountain Heritage into Lincolnton Memorial Stadium Friday night.
“Yes, we are the No. 1 seed, but if you lose you go home. You have to take them one game at time, you don’t look ahead,” Cloninger said. “You have to understand you’re playing one of the 64 best teams in the state and you have to be prepared mentally and physically to play,” he added.

The Wolves offense has been a well-oiled machine recently averaging BLANK points in the past five games. An instrumental part of Lincolnton’s offense is sophomore running back C.J. Wilson, who topped the 100-yard mark last week against North Lincoln and scored three all-purpose touchdowns.
“We’ve got to be able to run the ball against a big, strong defensive team in Mount Heritage,” Cloninger said.
With Lincolnton possessing the ability to strike from anywhere on the field, the Cougars, who run a 3-5 defense, will be no different from other team as they’ll look to sustain drives to keep the Wolves off the field.
“I think their game plan will be to ball-control us, so we have to take advantage each time we have the football,” Cloninger said.
Some teams facing a 3-5 defense would be apprehensive, because it can pose problems of who to block, but the defensive set will look familiar to the Wolves, having faced one in their last game.
“That’s an advantage for us because we just played North Lincoln. We know what they’ll give you and what they’ll take. That will be two weeks in a row we’ll be able to block the same defense,” Cloninger said.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Cougars run a flex bone offense with some wishbone and Wing-T mixed in.
Both the quarterback Anthony Silvers and running back Shamale Lee bring good size (at 6’1” 215) to the table and both have above average speed. Cloninger estimates the quarterback carries the ball 60 percent of the time.
“We just played a quarterback who is 215 in Hopkins, who likes to run. They do a couple of different things: they run a mid-line, quarterback trap and draws,” he said.
When Silvers is not toting the football, Lee will carry the load.
“They’re either going to throw him the football or he’s going to run the football. The key to our success is stopping those two young men. Coach Robinson is a good coach—he’s putting the ball in the two people’s hands that give him the best opportunity to win,” Cloninger said.
A week ago, the Wolves defense allowed only 66 yards on 28 carries in a dominating display of rush defense. Lance ‘Thank God It’s’ Friday, Derek Butler, Kenny Reed and Roger Rojas were largely responsible for the impressive defensive effort.
Talented corners Tavares Jefferies and Darrell ‘Chief’ Friday will look to stop the Cougars when they put put the ball in the air.
by John Mark Brooks

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