But the Springfield Senators football team's advantage over
Lincoln in Friday night's contest was something else:
The Senators sprinted past the Railers on Friday night, to the tune
of a 42-14 victory in Springfield.
To the naked eye, Springfield's speed may have made Lincoln look
But Lincoln coach Andy McDonald said that, in fact, he felt his team
had played quite hard. The coach said the Senators were just
that much faster.
"They are just so much faster than us," said McDonald. "Early on, I
felt like (the Railers were sluggish) a little bit. But, as the game
wore on, I felt like our guys were playing hard. There was an
obvious, big difference in team speed.
"If we had some successful plays up the middle, that were good off
the line, but their linebackers just came so hard and so fast that we'd be
fortunate to get 5 or 6 yards. We just couldn't sustain enough."
The Senators jumped out to a quick three-touchdown lead before
Lincoln quarterback James Leisinger got the Railers on the
scoreboard with a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
But a Railer rally never happened. Lincoln trailed by multiple
scores for the remainder of the game, not scoring again until an
Anthony Cannon touchdown run in the fourth quarter, when the game
was already out of hand.
The Senator offense was able to score by spreading the Railers
out, using mostly multiple wideout sets. With Lincoln forced to
respect the speed of the recipients of pitches from the quarterback
option, at certain times, Springfield found openings downfield in
the passing game.
"You spread us out so we have fewer guys in position to make tackles
on guys coming out of the backfield, like the running back or
quarterback," said McDonald. "It's hard to gang tackle when you're
spread out like that. And they've got their kind of quickness and speed, so it's
very hard to match up against."
How does one team get so much speed, or more speed than another
[to top of second column]
McDonald pointed to offseason training and told his team to use
their opponents' speed as fuel in the offseason.
"A lot of it is in the offseason," said McDonald. "I told
the guys, 'You have to do whatever you can to make yourself as fast and as
quick, and to have the ability to stop and change directions, or react and
The Railers were led by Zac Schleder, who had seven attempts for
67 yards. Andy Krusz finished with nine attempts for 47 yards.
Leisinger finished 5 for 13 for 40 yards, with an interception.
Logan Armbruster led the Railers with three receptions for 30
yards, while Schleder added two catches for 10 yards.
Lincoln now returns home for the final time this season, as they
prepare to take on Taylorville on Senior Night.
"It's a very special night for the seniors," said McDonald.
"It's the last time they play football on a home field. It'll be a very
emotional night no matter what the outcome is."
[By JUSTIN TIERNEY]
Justin Tierney's Railer football reports