The East Lincoln Mustangs are trying to make this homecoming against Hunter Huss (4-3, 2-2 Big South 3A) memorable. Despite their 2-6, 1-3 BS 3A record the Mustangs enter Fridayâ€™s game with confidence.
On offense, East Lincoln will face a 4-3 Huskiesâ€™ defense. Head coach Matt Rikard would like to see balance in the passing/running gameâ€”something theyâ€™ve achieved at different points of the season.
â€œWe have to get the balance that we had earlier in the year like against Berry. When we were going against North Gaston we were relegated to throwing it every down,â€ he said.
Rikard is quick to point out that quarterback Grayson Schram and company did a solid job amassing over 200 yards in the air.
â€œGrayson and the receivers did a good job, but it puts us at a disadvantage because the defense pretty much knows what weâ€™re going to do every down,â€ he said.
Mustangsâ€™ junior tailback Ryan Sykes is day-to-day and is expected to be a game-time decision with an MCL injury. If Sykes canâ€™t go, Rikard will give Tavarus Freedom, whoâ€™s been the starting fullback, the nod.
â€œHeâ€™s not a pure tailback, but as far as the inside running plays he is a physical runner,â€
The Huskies run a Double Wing offense that contains many facets. Rikard and staff believe they will have to be disciplined in their reads.
â€œWeâ€™re going to have to play good, solid defense because they run so much misdirection,â€ he said.
So who do the Mustangs worry about? According to Rikard, that could be anyone.
â€œTheyâ€™re just a good football team all around. They donâ€™t have a superstar. There is not one guy that breaks a run, any of them can do it.â€
Rikard believes his team has played hard and well enough to have a much better record than they currently have. That is the motivating factor for Friday.
â€œI told our players. Theyâ€™ve played so hard and come up on the short end of the stick. If anybody deserves to win their homecoming game, then we do because theyâ€™ve (my players) have played such good football.â€
by John Mark Brooks