By RYAN HERMAN
Two weeks into the high school football season I’m left with more questions than answers.
“Is West Lincoln for real?” “Did Lincolnton really get shut out?” “Will East Lincoln ever lose again?” “Did North Lincoln peak in Week 1?”
Two weeks is never enough time to fully gauge what to expect for an entire season. After struggling against North Lincoln in Week 1 the Wolves were manhandled by South Point last week, but like coach Scott Cloninger said, there are a lot of teams that will be manhandled by the Red Raiders this season. The Knights are simply a few bad breaks from being 2-0 instead of 0-2, the Rebels really are for real –– at least on offense –– and the Mustangs will lose at some point.
Looking ahead, however, I’m not sure when that loss will come.
NORTH LINCOLN (0-2) at EAST LINCOLN (2-0): Mustangs coach Mike Byus has been adamant that this year’s team shouldn’t be compared to the one last year that reached perfection and won a state championship, yet this year’s team has yet to do anything different in terms of winning. The Knights are a 180-degree turn from East Lincoln. They’ve had chance after chance in their first two games, yet mistakes have done them in in their 0-2 start. East Lincoln is a team North Lincoln can ill afford to make mistakes against and still have a chance to win. East Lincoln 37, North Lincoln 21.
CHERRYVILLE (0-2) at WEST LINCOLN (2-0): Neither Valdese Draughn nor North Lincoln could stop the Rebels’ rushing attack, and the Ironmen haven’t been able to stop their first two opponents from running the football, either. To complicate things, Dillon Harris, considered Cherryville’s top defensive player, will miss tonight’s game after being ejected for taunting in last week’s loss to Bessemer City, the Gaston Gazette reported. West Lincoln 35, Cherryville 14.
LINCOLNTON (1-1) at NORTH GASTON (2-0): The Wolves probably wish game time tonight would hurry up and get here to erase the memory of what happened against South Point last week –– 49 points allowed, none scored and 500 yards given up. Problem is, Lincolnton will face its third tough 3A opponent in as many weeks. No, the Wildcats aren’t as good as South Point, but they’re pretty doggone solid on the offensive side of the ball. Lincolnton simply needs to get something going on offense, and they face a team that allowed 468 yards last week –– 274 on the ground –– in a last-minute come-from-behind win. Lincolnton 22, North Gaston 21.