Lincoln Prep to play Homer on Thursday in Jonesboro

By T. Scott Boatright

It’s expected to be an offensive showdown pitting ball control against high octane aerial firepower when Lincoln Prep plays host to Homer at 7 p.m. at the Jonesboro-Hodge football stadium.

And it could be a high-scoring showdown for the two teams that both stand at 4-2 overall. The Pelicans are averaging 38.1 points per contest while Lincoln Prep is averaging 33.2 ppg.

Homer stands at 4-1 in District 1-1A while the Panthers are 3-2.

“Homer has some big, tall and talented athletes,” said Lincoln Prep coach Glen Hall. “That quarterback is throwing the ball around. We’re still trying to add some players and move some players around, like putting my big wide receiver (Braylin Mayfield) at defensive back to match the size of their receivers. He’s about 6-3 or 6-4 and can jump with those big guys. They’re tall wide receivers and we’re going to have to try and keep them contained.”

Senior Homer quarterback Takeviuntae Kidd has connected on 73-of-115 pass attempts for 1,261 yards and 18 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Sophomore Jamarquese Hampton (5-11, 203) leads Pelicans receivers with 29 catches for 454 yards and five touchdowns while senior Devante Champ (6-4, 170) has added 21 receptions for 331 yards and three scores.

“There are times we will probably try to match them with some high-powered passing of our own,” Hall said. “We want to show them that we can do deep and strike real quick, too.”

Hall feels that the improving play of quarterback Ta’Rell Simmons throughout the season can help make that happen.

During last week’s 44-27 win at Lakeside, Simmons ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns while connecting on nine-of-13 pass attempts for 227 yards and another four scores.

“He’s really using his legs to open up things for the receivers,” Hall said of his quarterback. “He’s buying time with his legs and when the defenders come up he’s starting to throw the ball over their heads. He’s looking downfield and doing some real good things for me.”

One big factor for the Panthers will be that Marvin Johnson has moved from fullback to center to fill the void left by the loss of Jamion James, who is expected to have surgery today after breaking his leg last week against Lakeside.

“That’s a big loss, losing our triggerman,” Hall said. “We’ve moved Johnson to center but we’re also using (left tackle) Imani Marcel some at center, too. If we can stay consistent on the snaps we should be OK. If we have trouble playing out of the shotgun, we can move up under center and Simmons can use his legs to buy some time, if we have to do that.”

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