Lincoln Will Rest After Beating Manatee for First Victory
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
There were plenty of telltale signs in practice last week that there was a better-than-average chance that Lincoln High School’s losing streak wouldn’t go beyond three games.
When quarterback Chris Brimm found his receivers, he did so with near pin-point accuracy. Players on the defense were knocking down passes. In the case of linebacker Austin Richardson, he simply picked off a pass.
The tempo was fast and no one seemed in a hurry to end practice.
“They just have a workman-like mentality and they come out here and work a lot,” said head coach Yusuf Shakir. “That’s why I really like this group; they just have that yearning to get better. That’s so key because if they don’t have that yearning for knowledge and push they’re only going to reach a certain level.”
That stick-it-out attitude carried over into the week’s game against Manatee and the Trojans came away with a 24-21 victory.
The win, in part, came because there was no lack of motivation for his players, Shakir said. The unlikely start with three losses seemingly was enough, too.
“It’s life,” said Shakir. “Sometimes in life you have unwanted circumstances come up and the only thing you do is the same thing you do when you’re in a good place.”
“The only way to get to a good place is to have the same mindset; same attitude as if everything was perfect.”
The win over Manatee snapped a surprising losing streak and the Trojans will have a week to enjoy the feeling of winning. But even more importantly, they’ll have time off to recuperate.
Brimm insisted, though, that there won’t be too much resting. At least not on his part.
“We are just trying to get better every day; practicing hard,” he said. “That (the week off) will be vital but when I come to work, I come to work.”
The work that the Trojans did during last week’s practice was mostly about focusing on generating more offense than they had showed in their earlier games.
“We just critique, critique, critique in practice,” Richardson said. “We watch more film (and) read more plays.”
Those issues that have been plaguing the Trojans might not have surfaced if they’d started the season with an easier schedule, something that Shakir said he wouldn’t have done.
He deliberately set a tough schedule, he said, with an eye on the future. His sophomores and juniors should benefit most – similar to what he saw five seasons before the Trojans reached the state championship final in 2010.
“These four games are so invaluable for us as a program for us to grow and mature,” he said. “Not just this year but for seasons after.
“These are just games preparing us for the next level. These games build confidence. When you talk about games five, six, seven, eight and nine; none of those teams have played this (tough) schedule. Our kids would be battle tested.”
They’ll have to be, considering their next four games. They’ll face unbeaten Rickards on Sept. 25, followed by city bragging rights matchups against Chiles, Leon and Godby.
Brimm said he understands the importance of the task ahead, adding that “We have to show the people in the city who we are by beating every team.”
Rickards 36, Choctaw 35, OT
Back-up quarterback Marcus Riley put on an aerial show as he led Rickards High School to a heart-throbbing 36-35 victory over Choctaw in overtime Friday night, extending the Raiders’ win streak to three straight.
Riley completed 14 of 19 passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns, including one in overtime. He plowed into the end zone with the game-winner on a two-point conversion to secure the win.
Riley also led the Raiders in rushing with 204 yards on 15 carries.
Playing at home, Choctaw took a 21-12 lead at halftime before Riley took over, with help from the Raiders’ defense that held the Indians scoreless until the fourth quarter.
Rickards took its first lead when Riley found Javon Wooten on a 10-yard strike to go on top 28-21 early in the fourth quarter. The Indians answered with a 45-yard field goal.
They added another field goal to start the overtime before Rickards countered with Riley.
Defensively the Raiders were led by Jonathan Butler with 13 tackles, and Jordan Brownlee had eight with an interception. Aaron Collins also had 10 tackles for the Raiders.
Rickards goes to Bentonville, Ark., this weekend to face the Tigers, two time defending state champions.