In the contest against SH-G, senior running back Jase Camp
suffered two broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung and now may be
lost for the season.
Last week against Taylorville, Lincoln played well but had trouble
maintaining possession of the ball. The Railers fumbled the ball
seven times, losing four of those miscues in a 14-0 loss.
experiencing such adversity the first three weeks of the season
while compiling a 0-3 overall record and a 0-2 mark in the Central
State 8 Conference, it would be natural if the team was a bit
demoralized and downtrodden.
It might be natural, but don't tell
that to the Railers or head coach Jared Shaner as the team looks to
snap its three-game skid Friday in a CS8 contest at Springfield
"That really hasn't been too much of a problem," Shaner
said when asked about the team's overall mood. "This is a great
group of kids, and they enjoy getting ready each week for each
"We've really had a good week. We've tried to keep things upbeat and
Southeast comes into Friday's game with an overall
record of 1-2, including a 0-2 mark in the CS8. After winning their
season opener at Peoria Central 34-8, Southeast fell at home to
Chatham-Glenwood 54-16 and Springfield High 56-28.
offense is led by workhorse running back Jonathon Rouse. So far this
season, the 6-foot senior has rushed for five touchdowns and has
averaged just over 13 yards per carry, rushing for 365 yards on 28
"He's a kid that, if you give him a seam, he can hit it
and then he's gone," Shaner said of Rouse. "He's definitely been a
focus for us this week."
Junior running back Cartez Walker (121
yards) and senior quarterback Dez Poole (118) also help anchor the
Southeast ground game.
Walker and Rouse rank as the top receivers
for the Spartans, with 60 and 49 yards receiving respectively.
Seniors Nehemiah Ankoor (42 yards), Ohene Akuoko (20) and Tyler
Grapengeter (two) have also caught passes for Southeast this season.
To counter the Spartans' overall team speed, Shaner said the Railers
will have to get back to basics in hoping to contain Southeast.
"They've probably got seven or eight kids who are faster than our
fastest one," Shaner said. "We have to make sure to be in the right
position and make sure we use good technique and wrap up when we
tackle. We've got to make sure we execute; if we have a missed
tackle at the point of attack, that can be the difference between
stopping them or a 60-yard run."
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The overall team effort Shaner said was needed on defense against
Southeast should come naturally for the Railers if the distribution
of their defensive statistics is any indication. Zack Dukes (7
tackles, 18 assists), Dylan Eimer (3-10), Zack Toft (13 assists),
Colt Hickey (7-13), Reuben Bowlby (4-17), Bryce Hunsley (12
assists), Joel Ritchhart (eight assists) and Tedarion Carter (6-8)
top Lincoln's defensive statistics through the first three games.
In Camp's absence following his injury, several Railers have stepped
up to anchor the team's ground assault. Colt Hickey (41 carries for
198 yards) has led Lincoln's rushing game, along with Brendan
Fitzsimmons (23-83), Nick Haferkamp (11-64), Moses Rogers (11-24),
Garret Cooper (3-16) and Reuben Bowlby (4-10).
The passing game
has been led by Stephen Duncan, who has taken all but one of the
snaps at quarterback this season. Duncan, a 6-foot junior, has
completed six passes in 21 attempts for 79 yards, including one
touchdown and one interception.
While Camp leads the team with three catches for 24 yards, other
Railers continue compiling receptions in his absence. Darvez Stancle
(28 yards), Zac Dukes (24), Nick Haferkamp (16) and Colt Hickey (11)
each have tallied one reception so far this season.
week's performance and the Railers' problems holding on to the
football, Shaner said he hopes that the team's upbeat
attitude -- coupled with an emphasis on taking care of the ball -- will
help the team come away from the 7 p.m. contest with its first
victory this season.
"We've stressed that a lot after our
performance last week," Shaner said. "We've been telling the
kids -- kind of like last week (against Taylorville) -- there's no
reason we shouldn't be able to play with them (Southeast)."
those unable to attend the contest in Springfield, log on to Lincoln
Daily News at 6:45 p.m. for a simulcast of the WLCN-FM 96.3
broadcast of the game.