Friday, October 10, 2014
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Homecoming dance, running QB on Railers’ list

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[October 10, 2014]  By Benjamin Yount
LINCOLN  --  The homecoming dance may have been on their minds, but the Lincoln High School football Railers were more focused on stopping Decatur MacArthur’s running quarterback than if their socks matched their ties.

“There are a lot of fun things going on, but we try and tell the team to keep their minds focused on what’s going on Friday night,” seniors defense back Chris Duong said Thursday. “(They) can think about the dance later on.”

It is homecoming week this week for Lincoln Community High School.

The Railers kick off Friday night against the MacArthur Generals. The dance is Saturday night.

“You know me. I’m just going to look the best I can,” Duong joked about his dance plans.

“It can be a distraction,” Railsplitter Head Coach Andy McDonald said. “We want them to enjoy all these things and participate in all of the homecoming activities. But they’re (also) going to have to put their game face on.”

And a serious game face is needed.

Decatur MacArthur is new to the Central State Eight this season, but is sitting at third place in the conference at 4-2.

The Generals’ strength is their dual threat quarterback, senior Shawntrez Spates.

“You see how tough it is, even at the NFL level,” McDonald said of trying to contain Spates’ ability to run and throw. “We have to take care of our responsibilities defensively, and (be) very fast and very aggressive.”

McDonald didn’t tip his hand at strategy, but expect the Railers to run a “spy” on Spates all game long.

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“We’ve made it clear (to everybody) that they have to play their positions first, but their quarterback accounts for a large percentage of their offense,” the coach added. “We have to be aware of where he is all night.”

Spates has rushed for over 600 yards and six touchdowns so far this year.

Senior safety Cam Cook said the key to keeping Spates out of the end zone starts up front.

“Our linemen have to be on their toes,” Cook said after Thursday’s final practice.  “We’ve got to be ready for anything.”

The Generals come to Handlin Field Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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