The Railers (2-5) and the
Tornados (1-6) have comparable records.
They also have comparable
enrollment sizes. Taylorville has 898 students, while Lincoln's
enrollment is listed at 855.
When the two teams met last
season, the game was evenly played, with the Railers scoring an
overtime victory at Taylorville.
So, when you factor in the
emotions of Senior Night, what do you have?
One might say, "A classic."
"We expect it to be a very
competitive game, sure," said Lincoln coach Andy McDonald. "We match
up well with them and always have. Traditionally, they're a very
tough team, a very physical and aggressive team.
"It's a game that we feel
like, if come out, do what we should, play hard -- which I expect we
will -- and are efficient, then we've got a great chance at a W."
Going out on top at home
A large percentage of the Railer squad will be playing
their last game at Handlin Field.
Lincoln features 19
seniors. They constitute the majority of the starting lineup on both
sides of the ball.
Leisinger, a senior and three-year starter, said described his
feelings as "not really nervous, but anxious, excited and a little
"I just want to play the
game," said Leisinger, who could also set career passing records in
the contest. "I want to make it last forever."
McDonald expects his team
to be fired up.
"It will be a very
emotional night, from beginning to end, win or lose," said McDonald.
"With 19 seniors, that just adds to it. It's a big chunk of our team
that are guys who've been playing for four years. Some of them have
an idea that this is their last home game. Others, it will take a
while to sink in."
Asked if he was concerned
about too much emotion that could lead to a lack of focus, McDonald
[to top of second column]
"I don't think so," said
McDonald. "I'd rather have them too psyched up or fired up than
Then the coach smiled and
added: "Leisinger may be the only one that I would make an exception
for that. We may have to calm him down a little bit."
Mirror, mirror on the
wall, who's the finest flexbone of them all?
This season's game
will have an added twist from the Tornados.
This year, Taylorville is
running the same offense that Lincoln traditionally runs: the
The offense uses
wingbacks, who stand at the quarterback's flank pre-snap. With a
variety of sweeps, counters and option plays, along with fullback dives
and passing plays, it's an offense that is strong in diversity and
differs in the amount of quarterback option plays, according to
"They run a lot more option
than we do," McDonald said. "But this is a chance for us to show
them that we run that offense better than they do and that we can
stop that offense."
[By JUSTIN TIERNEY]
Justin Tierney's Railer football reports