“That’s a tough game, it has a lot of playoff implications,” Wallace said. “We still have a chance to be in the playoffs and this is a big ball game for us. We understand, we are focused and we are trying to do the right things in practice and try to get ourselves in the right positions to make plays. They have some great skill guys in running back Dominique Thomas and wide receiver Maxwell Thomas. Those two skills guys can really get it, they get a lot of yards when they get the ball. The quarterback Jackson Bell is not bad. He does a good job as far as managing the game and he gets the players lined up every time they get up to snap. He makes good decisions with the football, he will be beat you with the long ball. Hopefully, we get some pressure on him Friday night. We have to play fundamentally sound football; we know what we have ahead of us. They have a good, strong team and we are going to have to get out and play good football on Friday night. We are going to have to come out with a lot of emotion and play hard like we are supposed to.”
The Eagles (5-1, 3-1) enter tonight’s game with a lot of momentum as they have won two games in a row. Jacksonville held on to defeat Anniston, 40-39 last week.
The Golden Bears (2-4, 2-2) opened the second half of the season with a 37-8 win over Hokes Bluff for homecoming last week. Wallace said his team has improved of the last several weeks.
“I am real excited about this bunch right now,” Wallace said. “We turned the corner at game five and we talked about this is our new season. We are going to work our tail off to try to get to game 10 and we are going to let the cards fall where they fall. We are going to work and get are going try to be the best team on Friday night from here on out. Our kids have practiced well and we had a good practice today (Tuesday). We are getting better and we are getting that extra effort that I have been looking for. If we can keep doing that and keep working on our fundamentals I think we will be pretty good at the end of the season. The good thing about us is that we have no way peaked to our fullest potential and we are gradually taking strides to get better.”
“We are gradually evolving,” Wallace said. “I know I was the defensive coordinator before I got here, but our defense is evolving into something special. I think our kids are playing together well and we are talking a lot more. We have a lot more communication in the secondary and we are able to get lined up a lot better than we were at the beginning of the season. I think it is evolving as far as we are starting to understand what our positions are about and if we can keep doing that we are going to get better and better as we go.”
Defensively, Lincoln had three interceptions last week. Zay Caldwell picked off two passes including one for a 38-yard touchdown. He rushed for 163 yards on five carries and three touchdowns. Caldwell is the first Golden Bear player to rush for over 100 yards in a single game this season. For his efforts, he earned The Daily Home Player of the Week honors for week six.
“It is impressive,” Wallace said. “He had one of those games where it is like one of those come out games. He has been gradually getting better the last couple of weeks. He has become one of the most talented kids that I have been around at his age. He is only in 10th grade, so we will have him for three more years. He has a great work ethic and he is the kind of kid that you want in your program. He is going to do the right thing every time. He is just an all-around great kid.”
Offensively, the Golden Bears had their best performance of the season. The 37-point outing was their highest of the season.
“It all goes back to the kids,” Wallace said. “We as coaches can go out there and coach our tails off, but they are the ones that have to go out there and play the game. We can’t put the pads on anymore. I think in their minds they set that they are going to go out there and do the best job they can do on the practice field. That is what we are preaching, go out there and work you butts off on the practice field and good things will happen on Friday nights. A lot of our problems early in the season were little things: alignment, assignment and stuff like that. We are gradually chipping away on chipping away all of our blemishes right now. I am not saying that we are the perfect team, but we are taking strides on getting better.”
The series is tied at 8-8. Lincoln won last season’s game 45-35.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Golden Eagle Stadium.