North Lincoln (2-6, 1-3 Southern Foothills 1A) earned their first conference win against Highland Tech last Friday, but the victory will be short-lived. The Knights will face a juggernaut in Polk Co. (8-0, 2-0) who is averaging 37 points a game.
The Wolverines run a very aggressive and gambling 5-2 look on defense. Knightsâ€™ head coach Lonnie Custer wants to carry over their second half success against Highland.
â€œWe have to build off the second half of last weekâ€™s game. We put up 33 points. Trent made some good reads on some passes and we just finished off drives a little better,â€ he said.
North Lincolnâ€™s sophomore quarterback Trent Hopkins, who threw for three touchdowns against Highland and rushed for two more, is enjoying a stellar sophomore campaign. Hopkins has passed for over 1,100 yards on the season to go along with 10 touchdowns. On the ground, he has amassed over 500 yards with five touchdowns.
Hopkins, who rushed for 156 yards on 19 carries, and Brandon Mull helped North record a school record for most rushing yards in a game last Friday compiling 365 yards.
Mull had 119 carries on just 12 carries. Custer was pleased with his knack for turning a decent gain into a big one.
â€œHe did a great job turning a five-yard run into a 10-yard gain. Heâ€™s developed nicely this year. We need to try to get him 10-15 touches Friday night,â€ he said.
The Knights will have plenty of chances on Friday as Polk plays man-to-man with their corners. Thatâ€™s something Custer hopes to exploit.
â€œThey play very aggressive style of defense and we have to take some chances and hit some homerun balls.â€
The Wolverines are led by tailback Daniel McIntyre who is the main weapon in their Double-tight I-Formation offense.
â€œIf McIntyre isnâ€™t the fastest kid in the state, then heâ€™s one of them,â€ Custer says of the back that allegedly ran a 4.2 at a Shrine Bowl workout.
Custer estimates Polk Co. runs the ball about 90 percent of the time.
â€œThey do it very well. They run the option and with multiple I-sets. They are very good,â€ he said.
With the option being a substantial part of what the Wolverines will try to do, Custer knows his team must be disciplined.
â€œWe have to play assignment football. Each player has to take care of their responsibilities and trust his teammates that theyâ€™ll do the same.â€
Custer feels the Knights will have more of a chance to win if heâ€™s able to get solid play from his special teamsâ€™ unit.
â€œWe have to pick it up. Weâ€™ve had a couple of bad weeks in a row and hopefully Friday night weâ€™ll have a better performance.â€by John Mark Brooks