While that might be an issue for many teams in preparing for the
next opponent, the situation won't be quite as drastic as the
Railers get ready to host Springfield High tonight in a 7 o'clock home
"Luckily, the preparation for Jacksonville and
Springfield isn't a lot different," Shaner said. "We're going to see
a lot of the same offensive formations out of them and the same
types of plays. So, luckily, it wasn't a huge difference for us as
far as that's concerned."
While the similarities between
Jacksonville and Springfield might make preparation for the game a
bit easier, that won't make the actual task of winning the contest
any less challenging for Lincoln (0-7 overall, 0-6 in the CS8).
"They're a good team," Shaner said of Springfield (5-2 overall, 4-2
in the CS8). "They have a big, strong offensive line. They're fast;
they play straight man-to-man on defense. They're very athletic.
Their defense is very aggressive; they're going to blitz you on
every play from all different angles."
Although that kamikaze-style defense might cause problems for
Lincoln, Shaner said the Railers might be able to use Springfield's
aggressiveness to their advantage.
"They're kind of a 'big play'
type of defense; they're going to make some big plays, but they're
also going to give some up at times," he said. "I'm sure they'll
catch us a few times and we'll have a few negative plays or plays
that don't go for anything, but we should definitely be able to
catch them in some blitzes too and have some plays that go pretty
big for us."
While Shaner has preached -- with varying degrees of
success -- to the Railers that they need to execute fundamentals as
far as minimizing turnovers and using proper technique when
tackling, he said the team will especially need to work as a unit to
counter the Senators' all-out defensive attack.
"On offense this
week, our offensive line has to get their heads up," Shaner said.
"They have to be able to communicate who's going to blitz on what
play and be able to pick guys up. So that's what we've really been
focusing on this week -- staying in the blocks, getting our heads up,
picking up those linebackers and things like that."
Defense is not
the only area in which the Senators excel. Springfield quarterback
Tyrell Bouldin leads the team in both passing and running yardage.
The 6-foot-1 junior has completed 82 of 124 passes for 1,072 yards
and 14 touchdowns while throwing six interceptions. In addition,
Bouldin has gained 594 yards on 101 rushing attempts while running
for nine more touchdowns.
"They've got one of the best
quarterbacks in the conference in Tyrell Bouldin," Shaner said. "He
is the most athletic quarterback in the conference. He can run the
ball at any time, he throws it really well, he makes good decisions.
He's a very, very skilled kid."
As the end of the season draws
closer, injuries can begin to pile up on a team. Shaner said the
Senators have been battling their share of injuries recently, and
that could work to Lincoln's advantage.
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"Last week they had six starters out with injuries," Shaner said.
"I believe their best running back (Mark Gilchrese) is done for the
year. I think one of their receivers (Pat Doty) is done for the
year. They have a couple kids that are questionable for this week. I
don't know if they'll play or not, but hopefully that will play to
our favor a little bit."
Injurywise for the Railers, senior Nick Haferkamp is questionable due to a wrist injury. As the Railers
shuffle personnel to compensate, a ripple effect of sorts may occur
as junior Stephen Duncan, Lincoln's starting quarterback, may see
some action at defensive back this week. With Duncan seeing time on
defense, that might bring in another play-caller on offense.
loves playing defense and is a pretty good defensive back," Shaner
said of Duncan. "He's done the majority of our quarterback work, so
we've kind of been leery to put him on defense. This week, you may
very well see him a little bit and maybe (sophomore James) Leisinger
a little more at quarterback."
Start time for the conference game at Handlin
Field is 7 p.m. As always, Lincoln Daily News will
simulcast the WLCN-FM 96.3 broadcast of the contest, beginning at
[By LOYD KIRBY]