Lions heading to Lincoln

Sardis (6-4) at Lincoln (5-5)
Series record: Lincoln 3, Sardis 2
Last meeting: 2007 Lincoln 34, Sardis 7
Last week: Boaz 38, Sardis 35; Piedmont 41, Lincoln 22

By Gene Stanley/ Messenger Sports Correspondent

Don’t let the record fool you.

Lincoln may have five losses, but take note of the teams the Golden Bears lost to- Etowah, Piedmont and Leeds, plus Alexandria and Cleburne County.

“Those are teams that most anybody in (Class) 4A would lose to,” Sardis coach Gene Hill said. “They’re definitely better than the 5-5 indicates.”

The Golden Bears enter the payoffs minus some key players, as coach Ryan Herring has kicked off 26 since the season started.
Three or four weeks ago, he had to dismiss his No. 1 and No. 2 tailbacks. One of them was also the top linebacker.

Consequently, a losing streak started at the same time.

Lincoln entered the season with three straight losses.

Freshman Zay Caldwell is the main running back at this time.

“Those two guys were phenomenal,” Hill said. “With them playing, they were capable of beating most anybody.”

Likewise, Sardis has lost three in a row, but the skid has nothing to do with discipline.

The Lions lost to Fairview, Oneonta and Boaz- a murderer’s row to finish the season. And the Boaz loss came on a last-minute field goal.

Look for a lot of running in this game, as both teams will hand it off to the backs quite a bit.

Lincoln runs most the I-formation, but runs the option, the toss, power and several other plays out of it.

Then there’s Tradarian Gamble, a receiver who can catch almost any ball thrown his direction.

“He’s the kind of player who, if you need the yards, you can get him the ball,” Hill said. “Basically, no one has stopped him this year.”

The defensive line is also a concern for Hill, especially Jay Swain.

“He’s small and quick and almost unstoppable,” Hill said. “The other linemen are bigger than him, but they don’t get through the gap like he does.”

“But the entire defense is speedy. They like to get in the offensive backfield.”

Last week against Boaz, Will Scott was 16-of-24 in passing for 143 yards, while Toby Pee led the Lion ground game with 105 yards on 22 carries.

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