The halfway point has come in the prep football season, meaning playoff scenarios are beginning to take shape.
One team which controls its own destiny is the Manitowoc Lincoln football team.
The next three games for Ships could be the difference between a return trip to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 playoffs and staying home for a second consecutive season.
Lincoln’s (2-2, 2-3 Fox River Classic Conference) next three opponents, Green Bay East, Sheboygan South and Green Bay West have a combined record of 2-10 in the FRCC. The Ships’ three losses, meanwhile, have come against teams with a combined conference record of 11-1 and just one by more than two touchdowns.
The Ships’ has shown a resiliency this season, fighting back in the second half against undefeated Bay Port and Ashwaubenon after falling behind by 21 and 10, respectively, at halftime.
Because of this, Lincoln coach John Dixon is confident in his team’s chances for the postseason.
“We’ve played the top four teams in our conference with the exception of Notre Dame and played very competitive,” Dixon said. “It’s time to step up our game for last few games but I feel very good about our chances.”
According to WIAA rules, a team becomes guaranteed a playoff spot should they finish above .500 in conference play with a minimum of five games played.
Lincoln would accomplish this with three-straight wins after locking in a finish of no worse than 5-3 in FRCC play no matter how the season finale against visiting De Pere plays out.
Lincoln’s offense is led by the tandem of Ethan Just and Drew Dixon, who according to Wisconsin Sports Network, rank first and third, respectively, in the FRCC in rushing.
Each back has played all five games for the Ships, with Just averaging just over 110 yards per game with 552 rushing yards on the season compared to Dixon’s 107 per game average and 535 yards.
Should the one-two punch of Just and Dixon keep rolling over the next three games, Lincoln will end its playoff drought at one season come the Level 1 playoff openers on Oct. 25 and 26.
(Week 5 results)
1. Roncalli (5-0) — def. Wrightstown 35-6
2. Reedsville (5-0) — def. Hilbert 13-7
3. Two Rivers (4-1) — def. Waupun 46-28
4. Lutheran (3-2) — def. Mishicot 14-12