After going 4-0 in the final month of the season, No. 4 Manitowoc Lincoln earned the right to host No. 5 Milwaukee King in a WIAA Division 1 Level 1 playoff game tonight at Municipal Field.
Though the stakes are higher, the Ships (6-3, 6-2 Fox River Classic Conference), will stick to the game plan which brought them success during the regular season: a diverse running attack out of the wing-T offense and a solid defense predicated on making opposing teams as uncomfortable as possible.
“We’re focused on controlling what we can control,” Ships head coach John Dixon said. “We feel good about what we’re doing on offense, we also need to be sure to step up and play some defense.”
Offensively, Lincoln boasts two of the top three leaders in rushing yards in the conference. According to WisSports,net, Ethan Just (989 yards) is No. 2 in the league, while Drew Dixon (848 yards) is right behind in the No. 3 slot. The duo has combined for 27 rushing touchdowns.
The Ships are just as active on the defensive side. Lincoln has three of the league’s top-10 in tackles, including conference leader Isaac Pethan, who has 105 stops. Pethan was the only player in the league to eclipse the century mark in tackles.
The Generals (7-2, 6-0 Milwaukee City Conference) have proven to be balanced on the offensive side of the ball, rushing for 1,420 yards while gaining 1,305 through the air. King has relied on a two headed attack made up of freshman quarterback Collin Sathe and senior tailback Saquan Dowery.
Sathe has passed for 1,132 yards, making him the leading passer in the City Conference.
Dowery has rushed for 1,082 yards, a mark which placed him third in the league in that category.
“They show a lot of different formations,” Dixon said. “They were undefeated conference champs in their league, so we’re preparing for anything.”