The 2-4 (2-1) Adrian Maples are entering the tough part stretch to end their season. It will bring when they host the 4-2 (1-2) Lincoln Railsplitters. Adrian has won its only two games since the conference play started and it was against lesser competition. Lincoln on the other hand has played the tougher part of the conference already and looking to get a step closer to the playoffs. Who will win this game?
Lincoln kicked off their season on the road when they traveled to the Belleville Tigers. The Railsplitters won that game with balanced effort from the passing and the running game to take the victory 34-21.
From there they went on the road for two games, both of them in the city of Ann Arbor when they first faced the Huron River Rats who they defeated 35-14 and then against the Skyline Eagles who they also won against 51-29. Against Huron, Lincoln’s quarterback Javin Kilgo had a big game. There was another dominating team effort on offense against Skyline to win that one.
The Railsplitters started their conference schedule at home against the Tecumseh Indians and couldn’t keep up with them as they were dominated by Tecumseh 41-14.
They scored their only conference victory against the lowly Dexter Dreadnaughts by a count of 42-3.
Then last week, Lincoln hosted the Chelsea Bulldogs. I thought will all the weapons they had on offense, they would have won this game. That wasn’t the case when they were blown out 41-20. Their running back Berkley Edwards went off in that game for big numbers.
The same analysis I had last week applies here. I think Adrian is going to have their hands full against Lincoln. I am starting to see that they didn’t play the toughest teams early in their season and that would explain why they have been defeated handily by teams that were better. In terms of Chelsea, they must have played a really tough non-conference schedule that made their record early look bad, but it has pushed them to what they have done this season. I do think that Adrian’s defense has had difficult times slowing down teams that can move the ball efficiently. I think Lincoln has that with Kilgo and his favorite receiver Tyree Waller. They use a committee of running backs which means fresh legs and more pressure on defense.
As for their offense, they really are confusing as to what they want to do. At first I thought they wanted to run the ball. When it didn’t work, they went to the pass during the season for some success. Since then that has struggled and it has gone back to the running game. Hunter Hayes is going to need to be efficient with this passes and he is going to need his receivers to help him out. Adrian is also going to need to feed Isaac Gradeless to help their defense rest and to put some points on the board. I believe they will score, but they are going to need to play the full game to score the victory.
Last year when these two teams played, Lincoln scored the victory at home 27-12.
As I have reiterated before, Adrian is not as good as they were last year. They had a great passer last year and they had an identity. This year they have had success with the rush and with the pass, but nothing has been inconsistent. I think Lincoln is much too strong on offense to be shut down completely and I think Adrian will come up short in this. My prediction is 28-21.
This game will be played at Michener Elementary School on Friday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Adrian, Michigan.