North Lincoln showed last week why high school football can be so much fun.
The Knights played as well as they could have hoped while Lincolnton played about as bad it could have imagined as North Lincoln opened its season with a 26-13 win over a team that, on paper, should have ran all over it.
After all, it was the first time since 2004 North Lincoln opened a season with a win. It even lost its first game in 2007, the year it won 10 games and reached the third round of the state 2AA playoffs, so this year’s team already has one up on the school’s best season to date.
The hardest thing for a team like the Knights to do after a big win is stay focused, as coach David Maness eluded to in his postgame interview with the Lincoln Times-News. Today will let us know if last week’s win was a fluke, or a sign of things to come.
NORTH LINCOLN at WEST LINCOLN: Knights senior Richard Jackson led Lincoln County in rushing last week with a career-high 203 yards and two touchdowns. Rebels senior Charles Mack George was second with 188 rushing yards and a TD. North Lincoln hasn’t won back-to-back games to start a season since 2004, and West Lincoln has started 2-0 in four of the last five years. Aside from whichever team commits the fewest mistakes, this one will be won in the trenches as both are power rushing teams. And no one has been better recently at the run than the Rebels. West Lincoln 28, North Lincoln 27.
LINCOLNTON at SOUTH POINT: Both of these teams had horrendous starts to their seasons. South Point was held to a measly 141 yards of total offense and had three turnovers in a loss against Crest, and Lincolnton committed three costly turnovers and committed several ill-advised penalties in its loss at North Lincoln. The Wolves’ freshman quarterback Cordel Littlejohn was impressive at times in his varsity debut, completing four straight passes for 110 yards at one point to help Lincolnton climb out of a 19-0 hole and make it 19-13. But they also showed how important injured junior starting quarterback Jordon Easter is to their offense, so much so coach Scott Cloninger said he hoped Easter would be available this week after the loss. Well, he isn’t, so it’ll be up to the freshman and junior Alex Rhyne to carry an offense that, at times last week, looked lost, against a much bigger, faster team than North Lincoln. South Point 27, Lincolnton 14.
Q FOUNDATION at EAST LINCOLN: There isn’t much to be said about this game. The Mustangs starters will inflate their stats, and their backups will get some much-needed reps when the clock is continuously running after halftime thanks to the new 42-point lead rule. East Lincoln 49, Q Foundation 0.