Lincoln County has locked up its playoff spot. Now the Patriots are ready to finish strong in their regular season finale at home against North Laurel on Friday.
A win over the Jaguars would give Lincoln third place in Class AAAAA, District 7. Both teams are 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the district coming into this game.
Settles said the teams are very similar.
The Jaguars are coming off a 26-10 loss to Madison Southern. They are averaging 28 points per game and giving up 20 points a contest.
North sticks mainly to the ground, with Michael Nelson rushing for 1,040 yards and 18 touchdowns and Gabe Blair rushing for 890 yards and three scores.
“They have an outstanding quarterback in Michael Nelson. He is a great athlete that makes plays and is difficult to tackle. Gabe Blair, a returning 1,000-yard rusher as a sophomore last season, is a tough running back that is not afraid to run it between the tackles. Both players compliment each other really well,”¿Settles said. “They are well coached and play a physical style of football that our players need to be ready for.
“Even though they throw the ball down the field at times, it is no secret that they want to have success running the football and if we don't control the running game, we are in for a long night.”
Nelson had thrown for 303 yards and four touchdowns going into last week’s game.
Lincoln is averaging 28 points and 267 yards of offense and allowing 27 points per game. Logan¿Martin has rushed for 637 yards and 12 touchdowns and Marvin Robinson has 490 yards and seven scores to lead the ground game which averages 208 yard per game.
Quarterback Justin Hubble is 38 of 80 passing for 464 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions. Aaron Cress leads the team with 11 catches for 250 yards and four touchdowns.
Estill County (0-8) at Garrard County (4-4)
The Golden Lions have locked up third place in Class AAA, District 5 after blowing out Western Hills last week. Now Garrard faces an Estill team which is allowing 50 points per game and has not given up fewer than 44 points in any game.
But coach Mark Scenters is warning his team to not overlook the Engineers.
“Estill County is coming off an open week which may have given them an opportunity to heal up a little bit and certainly has given them a couple weeks to prepare for us,” he said. “I have a great amount of respect for Coach (Mike) Jones and the program at Estill and they do a great job in preparing for opponents.”
Scenters said Estill is operating out of the shotgun a lot, but knows anything could happen Friday when the rivals play.
“It certainly would not shock me to see them line up in the double wing-type offense that they have had such success with and try to come right at us,” he said.
The Lions are averaging 24 points and 298 yards per game and giving up 17 points and 232 yards per contest.
Quarterback Billy Abney has thrown for 638 yards and six touchdowns and two interceptions and has three rushing touchdowns, and Garrett Caudill and Layne Cumby each have 12 catches and a touchdown.