By RYAN HERMAN
I correctly picked West Lincoln to beat Cherryville last week and predicted the Rebels would win big, but 54 points and 520 yards rushing? That’s unreal.
League play in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference will be a little tougher to run on like that –– five of the league’s eight teams (including West Lincoln) are holding teams to fewer than 200 yards rushing a night –– but the big offensive line coupled with the talents of league-leader Daniel Davila and quarterback Miguel Corella (currently seventh in the SD-7) have the Rebels poised to match their era-best (since 1972) win total of eight games, last accomplished in 2010.
Believe-it-or-not, West Lincoln actually thinks it can play better. Perhaps not offensively in terms of gaining more yards, but it did allow 16 points.
Fred T. Foard beware.
WEST LINCOLN (3-0) at FRED T. FOARD (0-3): To borrow the mascot from a former college basketball powerhouse, the West Lincoln Rebels have turned into the Runnin’ Rebels, especially after last week’s 520-yard outburst on the ground. While West Lincoln ate up the field against Cherryville’s defense, Fred T. Foard’s rush defense isn’t much better, allowing 186 yards rushing per game. West Lincoln, which has 978 yards on the ground in three games, has yet to run for less than 216 yards in a single game this year. West Lincoln 42, Fred T. Foard 7.
EAST GASTON (0-3) at LINCOLNTON (1-2): The Wolves will host an alumni night tonight where as many former players who want to attend may do so. Although in search of a much-needed win themselves, they host a team that has won a total of six games since the start of the 2011 season. Lincolnton, which is now running the I-formation, could have won at North Gaston last week but it had four turnovers. If the Wolves can hold on to the football, they should be fine heading into the off week. Lincolnton 21, East Gaston 17.
BESSEMER CITY (1-2) at NORTH LINCOLN (0-3): The Knights have one last shot to enter North Piedmont 3A/4A Conference play with a win, and it comes against a 1A team that relies heavily on the run. The Yellow Jackets have 582 total yards, and 563 of it have come on the ground –– 326 to Cedric Mackey. If North Lincoln can up its rushing defense –– it allows 194.6 yards per game –– and stop Mackey, then it’ll enter the off week and conference play on a high note. North Lincoln 27, Bessemer City 14.
EAST LINCOLN (3-0) at FORESTVIEW (2-1): This is a tough one to call, because both teams are so balanced and even. Both sport an outstanding quarterback, have a solid running game, and are blowing teams out. So what sets them apart? Experience in close games. The Jaguars went 7-5 last year, and they either won big or lost big. As for the Mustangs, they haven’t lost in 19 straight games and were 6-0 last year in games decided by 14 points or less. East Lincoln 34, Forestview 31.