New Lincoln football coach stressing attention to detail
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — After his team suffered a tough 34-6 loss to Clinton Township Clintondale Sept. 6, Warren Lincoln football coach Darius Alexander said the effort is there.
That was exhibited by the Abes’ (0-2, 0-1 Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division at press time) 14 first downs in the second half of the Sept. 6 contest. Alexander, in his first year as Lincoln head coach after serving as defensive coordinator last season, said his team has made strides since the start of fall camp Aug. 12.
“But we have to be consistent. We can’t afford to have mishaps and miscues, especially when you don’t have a lot of depth in spots,” Alexander said. “Our guys have to step up. If a big play does happen (for the opposition), we have to stay grounded and strong.”
Alexander didn’t make any changes to the Abes’ defensive scheme. The team will run the base 4-4 it employed last season, when it allowed its lowest point-per-game average (19.3) since winning the Bronze in 2008 — the last time Lincoln qualified for the Michigan High School Athletic Association state playoffs.
The first-year head coach did institute change on offense, though. Alexander has implemented a pro-style offense, which calls for balance with the run and pass, requires the offensive line to be solid — run and pass block — quarterbacks with good decision-making abilities, and running backs who are capable of running in between the tackles. Pro-style offenses also use tight ends and fullbacks more than other offenses used at the high school level.
Alexander said he believes the Abes have the personnel to thrive in the offense. He cited senior running back Derrell Stewart, who rushed for 99 yards on 24 carries against Clintondale, as being able to star in the scheme. Senior fullback Mike Reese also got a lot of looks against Clintondale, and senior quarterback Darius Totty looked to hit several different receivers.
“And the offensive line is improving,” Alexander said. “We have playmakers in Derrell and (sophomore running back) Daniel Stewart. We just need to get (Daniel Stewart) some more touches. The running game is getting better. We have to have that balance with the pass to go along with the premise of the offense, though.”
“We just have to clean up the small things,” Alexander said. “If we take care of those, I think we’re one step away from making some big plays.”
Lincoln next takes the field for a matchup with MAC Gold foe Marysville, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Marysville.