League title on the line

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: October 16, 2014 - 1:56 PM

Lincoln Prep wants more than another league championship.

Upstart Kansas City Central is happy to be in the race.

The teams, both 3-0 in Interscholastic League play, will duke it out Thursday for the league title. The tilt at IL Stadium between 5-3 Lincoln Prep and 3-5 Central also has district playoff seeding implications.

The Blue Tigers, defending league champions, blitzed Pembroke Hill 34-7 last Friday night, while Kansas City Central was toppled by Van Horn 55-22.

“This was a game that we had to have,” Lincoln Prep head coach Henry Newell said after the win at Pembroke. “We needed to win this game to remain third in our (Class 3 District 8 standings behind Maryville and St. Pius X). Central’s going to be a big game. If we win that ballgame we’ll be 6-3 and probably second in our district which probably means we’ll get a good draw.

“Winning the IL is great, but we want to go beyond that.”

Central, with first-year head coach Mark Faubion at the helm, was 3-6 overall last year and 2-3 in the IL. The Blue Eagles are currently in fifth place in the Class 3 District 7 standings.

In other IL news, Southwest Early College Campus (3-5, 2-1 IL) takes aim at a possible tie for second-place with a showdown against Northeast (2-6, 2-2). The Vikings stopped a six-game losing streak with a 20-6 Week 8 win over East (0-8, 0-4).

The Bears, who finished 0-10 last year, are on a 21-game losing streak dating back to the last three games of the 2012 season.

“It was nice to get back in the win column this week,” said Vikings head coach Terry McCray. “I’m very proud of my team for continuing to battle.”

McCray said a number of injuries and defections this season have caused the Vikings to stumble.

“It’s easy to quit and walk away from losing,” he said. “I tell my kids all the time if you quit now you will quit everything.”

McCray added despite the defections, the majority of the team has remained intact.

“That’s what I’m most proud of,” McCray said. “We win together, we lose together and this one felt really good against our down-the-street rival.”

Northeast’s game against SWECC also has district playoff seeding implications.

“If we win we should get a rematch against Lincoln in the first round of the playoffs,” McCray said. “If we lose we may have to travel to St Pius. I would rather win and stay at the IL field.”

SWECC was blanked 33-0 against University Academy in its last game out. The outcome left Indians head coach Roger Franks perplexed about his players’ resolve.

“I’m very disappointed in the way we prepared for University Academy,” Franks said. “It exposed our maturity level and will to be great. If we don’t turn it around between now and kickoff (against Northeast), it will be the same result.

“This has nothing to do with football at this point, it’s a mindset. For some reason it seems these young men are afraid to be successful.”