This game features several talented running backs, including three who compiled more than 100 yards last week. CHS also has a quarterback who can run well. But it’s too early to determine trends for either team in a game that appears to offer two equally matched opponents.

FYI: This is CHS’s homecoming, the first of only three home games for the Trojans . 

Here is a preview for tonight’s game. 

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

Past Results: Charleston opened its season with a 41-30 loss to Herscher. Lincoln defeated Clinton 28-0. Last year, Lincoln defeated Charleston 14-6. 

“It’s always nice to play at home,” said CHS coach Jerry Payne. “It’s certainly better than a two-hour bus ride. Homecoming this early may feel a little strange, but I remember playing on three homecomings during my senior year of high school. I think the guys are excited because they get to be back on our home field. They know we let the last one slip through our hands. They fought all the way and never gave up, though. We want to get that first win.” 

Tickets: Tickets will be sold at the entrance of Trojan Hill. 

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

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Opponent’s History: Lincoln, which finished 4-5 last season, hasn’t recorded a winning football season since 1986. Lincoln coach Matt Silkowski enters his sixth season with a 15-31 record. Lincoln posted a convincing win over Clinton their first week. 

Lincoln’s Running Game: In their opening win, junior Kion Carson (5-5, 141) scored four touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries while senior Isaac Decker led the Railsplitters with 111 yards rushing on 12 carries, part of a 366-200 overall total yardage advantage over Clinton. Paytan Brunner added 56 yards on 13 carries. Lincoln averaged 6.75 yards per carry.

Lincoln’s Passing Game: Junior Darren Stevens (6-3, 170) completed three of seven pass attempts for 96 yards, including a 64-yarder to Carson for a score. He also completed passes of 23 and 9 yards to two different receivers.

Lincoln’s Defense: Lincoln recorded 10 tackles for loss and 63 tackles overall. Sophomore middle linebacker Tate Johnson (5-11, 180) led the team with 10 tackles, one assisted, while senior linebacker Payton Johnson (5-8, 165) had nine tackles. Senior outside linebacker Jaden Leadley and sophomore defensive tackle Frank Sanders (6-2, 195) each had two tackles for losses among their five and two tackles overall, respectively.

Other key stats for Lincoln:

Total Plays51
Total Yards366
Avg Yards Per Play7.17
First Downs17
First Downs Allowed 14
Third-down efficiency5-8
Third-downs allowed4-12
Forced Turnovers4

Miscellaneous: The weather is projected to be 82 degrees at kickoff with a humidity of 58% and a 0% chance of rain. Homecoming Court will be announced at halftime. 

Charleston Rushing Game: Jeremiah Hayes led the team with 112 yards rushing on 12 carries and one touchdown. Brett Spour added 10 rushes for 64 yards and a touchdown. 

Charleston Passing Game: Spour completed 12 of 26 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown and one interception. Langdon King led the team with four receptions for 38 yards. Luke Nelson added two receptions for 29 yards, while Chet Strader added two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown reception. 

Charleston Defense: Chet Shrader was among four players with eight tackles in Week 1 against Herscher. The junior strong safety had four solo and four assisted tackles while senior linebacker Jeremiah Hayes, sophomore middle linebacker Ben Coffey and senior defensive lineman Alex Stout each had two solos and six assisted. L King tied for most solo tackles at four. CHS made five tackles for loss in the game, as well.

“We need to handle the pressure and stick to our assignments,” said Payne. “We had some breakdowns that cost us a few touchdowns. There were some other frustrating things too. We had a special team breakdown from getting people on and off of the field. We botched a kickoff return. There are some mistakes we need to fix so that we can be better.”

What Lincoln Said: “Our game went well,” said Silkowski. “We learned a lot about ourselves and are looking to keep improving.  We need to be able to run the ball effectively and control Charleston’s offense. Isaac Decker, Jaden Leadley, and Kion Carson played well last week.”

What Charleston Said: “We should match up pretty good with them,” said Payne. “They have a couple of kids that gave us fits last year. They are going to run the same thing they have always run. We just need to tighten things down on defense. Offensively, we need to handle the pressure. Herscher threw the house at us all night and we didn’t handle it very well.”