SHINNSTON, W.Va. – We have made it to the final week of the high school football regular season.
Week 11 officially begins on Tuesday, but teams around the state began making preparations for their final regular season game on Monday.
This week is truly the last chance for teams to work out any in-game issues before the postseason arrives.
There were certainly no in-game issues this past Friday for Number 4 Lincoln, who shut out Philip Barbour by a final score of 56-0.
Essentially, the Cougars took care of business in a game they were expected to win handedly.
A much tougher task awaits this week, however, in Triple-A Number 4 Bridgeport.
For Lincoln head coach, Rob Hawkins, he’s been proud of the way his team has played this season.
“The two things that we always stress: you have to be able to stop the run, and you have to be able to run the ball. And we’ve been able to do those things really well,” said Hawkins. “Defensively, I feel like our front seven have really done a good job controlling the other teams’ run game. Then offensively, our line has really blocked well, and our running backs have really run well. I have to give a lot of credit to our receivers too.”
The two things he stresses will certainly be tested this Friday against the Indians, who are always solid running the ball and defending against the run.
Lincoln is 8-1 on the year, and has already won its most regular season games since 2016.
I asked Hawkins to compare this year’s Lincoln squad to the team that made it to the second round of the playoffs in ’16.
“This team has a lot more depth at running back, so we’re able to run it a lot more. That team didn’t have a lot of depth at running back, so there were sometimes we would throw the ball just to give the running back a rest,” Hawkins said. “Where that team was deep with receivers, this team’s more deep with running backs. But in a lot of ways, the way the season has progressed, and the way we’ve come through everything, it reminds me a lot of 2016.”
Hawkins and the Cougars will look to win their ninth game for the first time since 2011 on Friday.