By Kyle Daubs

Jerry Payne stressed that he wanted Charleston to get that first win.

Technically, Charleston did just that with forfeit by Robinson.

Charleston will travel to get the chance to earn its first true win of the season Friday night. 

Here is the breakdown of Friday night’s game. 

Team Records: Charleston (1-0, 0-0), Lincoln (1-0, 0-0)

Past Results: Lincoln is coming off a convincing 58-6 win over Clinton. Last year, Charleston defeated Lincoln 54-0 on Week 1. Charleston is coming off a forfeit win over Robinson, which battled COVID issues last week. This will be Charleston’s first true game of the season. 

“It makes me a little nervous because by now I would have film on a team, but we don’t,” said Payne. “Lincoln looks very well improved. They handled Clinton pretty well. I don’t know much about Clinton, but Lincoln only lost a few people from last year and it looks like everyone got better.”

Tickets: Tickets will be sold at the gate at Triad’s football complex

School Size: Charleston (796), Lincoln (810)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Opponent’s History: Lincoln finished 0-6 last season and hasn’t recorded a winning football season since 1986. Matt Silkowski enters his fifth season as head coach. He owns an overall 11-26 mark. However, they had a convincing win over Clinton their first week. 

“The spring of ‘21 was very rough for us,” said Silkowski. “A lot of things didn’t go our way and we were playing with a lot of kids with no varsity experience.  Last Friday, our offense took advantage of the great field position our defense created for us.  It was a total team win.  Everyone took turns making plays.”

Charleston’s History: Last week’s game against Robinson was canceled due to Robinson having low numbers due to COVID exposure. Charleston was rewarded with a 2-0 forfeit win. Since no opponent was found, Charleston held an intrasquad scrimmage. 

“A win is a win regardless,” said Payne. “We played two quarters and split up our talent. It was good, bad, and indifferent. The guys had fun and got to bang around with what little we had. It’s more than what we’ve allowed at practice. Now, we need to step on the field and do that against another team.”

Lincoln Running Game: No stats were provided by Lincoln. The team appears to be led by 6-foot-1 senior running back Jordan 

Lincoln Passing Game: No stats were provided by Lincoln. The team appears to be led by senior quarterback Elijah Pollice, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds. His main target appears to be 5-foot-11, 155-pound senior Scotty Battin. Charleston does not have access to film as Lincoln denied Charleston’s request for game tape because Charleston did not play a game Week 1, while Lincoln did play. 

“He said it would put his kids at a disadvantage because we didn’t play,” said Payne. “I get his side of the argument. They will probably do some things similar and look to tweak things for the players he has.”

Lincoln Defense: Lincoln returns no players that made All-Apollo from last year. The six points allowed were the lowest in over a year. Last year, the lowest points total allowed was 42 points. 

Miscellaneous: The weather projected for game time is around 76 degrees with cloudy skies. Winds are projected at 7 mph. 

Charleston Passing Game: Charleston is led by senior quarterback Jack Nelson. As a junior, Nelson led Charleston to a 4-2 record. The Trojans lost their three top receivers from last year along with First-Team All Apollo lineman Peyton Daughtery and  All-Apollo Second Team lineman Drew Matheny. Zach Stout and Wyatt Strader will compete for receiver spots. 

Charleston Rushing Game: Cory Spour led the way in rushing with 594 yards and eight touchdowns. Three running backs in Hunter White, Zayvion Johnson, and Jonathan Reed will compete for playing time. 

Charleston Defense: Returning is Second-Team selection Brody Rankin. On special teams, senior kicker Connor Woodley is the No. 94 ranked punter in the country after competing at kicking camps all summer. The team lost All-Apollo members Daughtery, Spour, and Sam Schuette. 

What Lincoln Said: “We have a ton of respect for Charleston,” said Silkowski. “In order to be successful Friday, we are going to need to stop the run and contain Jack Nelson.  He is a really good player and who causes problems for us.”

What Charleston Said: “I just want to see the guys go hard,” said Payne. “We always tell them that no game in the conference is a gimme. You have to go to war once the opening whistle is blown to the final horn. Leave it all out on the field. As long as we go out and play as hard as we do, the rest will sort its self out in the end.”