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This week’s picks

RYAN HERMAN
Sports Editor

Tonight’s games can shake up the Southern District 7 2A race big time.
Including tonight, there are only three games left in the regular season. And perhaps the most intriguing game in SD-7 play so far will be tonight’s West Lincoln at Maiden showdown.
Maiden enters undefeated, while the Rebels are tied for third with Lincolnton at 3-1. A West Lincoln win means, in all likelihood, the league is East Lincoln’s to lose. A Maiden win, and again, in all likelihood, will set up next week’s Blue Devils-Mustangs matchup that will most likely decide the SD-7 title.
There is an actual scenario where all three Lincoln County SD-7 teams could end up tied for first if West Lincoln and Lincolnton both win out, and East Lincoln keeps winning until running into West Lincoln on the final night of the regular season.
How awesome would that be?

WEST CALDWELL (1-7, 0-4) at EAST LINCOLN (4-4, 4-0): There isn’t much to say about this one. The Mustangs have the league’s best offense and defense while the Warriors are the worst at both. East Lincoln 48, West Caldwell 7.
NEWTON-CONOVER (2-6, 1-3) at LINCOLNTON (5-3, 3-1): It appears Lincolnton is getting better with the I-formation offense and its defense keeps coming up with big stops. Newton-Conover, voted by the SD-7 coaches in the preseason to finish second in the league, even getting two first-place votes, hasn’t been able to stop anybody in conference play except West Caldwell. Lincolnton 35, Newton-Conover 19.
LAKE NORMAN (6-2, 4-0) at NORTH LINCOLN (3-5, 1-3): Last week against West Iredell, Lake Norman quarterback Josh Ladowski had 300 yards passing and four touchdowns on eight completions, and 204 yards rushing and four TDs on 11 carries. That’s 504 yards and eight TDs in 19 plays. Ladowski has more total yards (3,463) by himself this season than the Knights (2,034) have as a team. North Lincoln did pick up a win this week, thanks to East Lincoln’s forfeits. Lake Norman 61, North Lincoln 7.
WEST LINCOLN (7-1, 3-1) at MAIDEN (8-0, 4-0): The Rebels learned last week that their biggest weakness on defense is stopping the pass, and there’s no better team in the league at passing than Maiden. There’s also no worse team in the league at running the ball than Maiden. So, if West Lincoln can put some pressure on Blue Devils quarterback Jake McRee, then it has a chance to pull off what could be considered the biggest upset in school history. I can’t confirm, but I’d guess the Rebels have never beaten a ranked team. Tonight could be the night, but it’ll be tough. Maiden 28, West Lincoln 21.

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