Booneville and Lincoln are both ground and pound football teams, so this week’s game may come down to which team wins the battle upfront.
“I think it is going to be battle of who can control the line of scrimmage and who is going to stay in there and plug for four quarters,” said Lincoln Head Coach Brad Harris.
For the Bearcats, one of their main goals on defense is to slow down star running back Tyler Cummings.
“We are going to have to play assignment football,” said Booneville Head Coach Scott Hyatt. “We are going to have to do a good job at running to the football, blocking and tackling, because that guy is hard to bring down and so are the other kids they have.”
Lincoln’s motto this season has been STP. Something to prove. Many are surprised the Wolves have made it this deep in the playoffs, but if you ask the players about it. They are not.
“A lot of people have written us off, thinking it’s a fluke and that we have not played anybody,” said Harris. “We have played some good teams this year and these guys have stepped up to the challenge every week.”
“We have a lot of heart, a lot of talent and a lot of speed,” said Lincoln Linebacker Colton Barnum. “Don’t overlook us, because it will come back and bite you in the butt.”
“A lot of people look down on Lincoln football,” said Lincoln Tailback Tyler Cummings. “Traditionally we haven’t been very good, so we feel like every time we put pads on we have something to prove.”
Now you don’t have to worry about Booneville underestimating Lincoln. Like the Wolves, the Bearcats have also been viewed as underdogs.
“We are usually the ones everybody underestimates when we get into the playoffs,” said Hyatt. “We don’t overlook anybody and watching Lincoln play I am not surprised they are where they are at. They are a good football team.”
“Honestly, we don’t take any team for granted,” said Booneville Linebacker Damon May. “Everybody is going to give you their best shot.”
“We really don’t take anybody lightly,” said Booneville Lineman Dalton Gray. “We have been doubted every week, but we come out here and practice. We practice hard. We are one of the smallest schools in 4A, but we practice like we have the biggest heart out of all of them.”
Friday’s showdown between Booneville and Lincoln may be decided in the trenches, but it could also come down to heart and dedication. Who wants it more.