Northeast, Lincoln Prep set for IL showdown

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 25, 2014 - 10:04 AM

Lincoln Prep and Northeast have won the last two Interscholastic League championships.

Both squads posted 5-0 records the year they were crowned, the Vikings in 2012 and the Blue Tigers last season.

Lincoln Prep, 3-2 and 2-0 in league play this season, is coming off a 17-7 hard-fought victory last week over University Academy.

Northeast (1-4, 1-0) was roughed up by Hogan Prep 53-0 to extend a four-game losing streak.

“I feel like our confidence is down a bit,” Vikings head coach Terry McCray said. “As a head coach this is the first four-game losing streak of my coaching career, so not only are the kids down a bit, but I'm hurting from the stretch, too.

McCray said the Vikings have worked on the little things in practice this week to help build the team’s morale.

“No better way to start that effort by beating the defending champs,” he said.

The Blue Tigers stopped a two-game losing streak aided by Jabari Hopson’s 102 yards rushing and Colandius Rucker’s 132 yards on the ground.

“It was good to get a win over a good UA team,” Lincoln Prep head coach Henry Newell said.

Newell played coy in the matchup with Northeast.

“We know Northeast fairly well,” he said. “They have some talented players. We will get their best shot. We prepare for Northeast like we do for all games; we focus on what we do best.  It is important for us to run the ball and control the tempo.”

McCray paid respect in return to Lincoln Prep.

“Coach Newell and his staff have done a great job over there the past two years, so I expect it to be a very competitive game,” McCray said. “We are still banged up and searching for some of the young guys to step up and help fill some voids.

“Friday begins that stretch of trying to bring the IL championship back to Northeast.”

In other IL news, Southwest (2-3, 1-1) has a chance to get to the .500 mark with a trip to winless Mill Valley (0-3) and Kansas City Central (1-4, 1-0) takes on East (0-5, 0-1) Thursday trying to end a four-game skid.

Southwest was a 13-0 winner over Afrikan Centered College Prep (0-5, 0-3), while the Blue Eagles were handed a 48-6 loss by O’Hara.

 “Tough loss to a well-coached, very talented team,” Central head coach Mark Faubion said of O’Hara. “We actually played much better.”

Faubion said he is starting to see potential in some of his young offensive linemen, three of whom are freshmen.

“I have seen several ‘light bulb’ moments with our young guys finally understanding some things,” he said. “I’m hoping those moments turn into movement this Thursday...I’m sure they will turn it up a couple notches.”