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Grant at Lincoln will be a battle
by: Denise FARWELL, Annika Moffett sets the ball to Lincoln teammate Katy Heasty in a victory over Grant. The Cardinals have won their second league title in a row.

The potential for big plays is huge when Grant plays at Lincoln at 7 tonight for the PIL 6A football title.

Quarterbacks Connor Kavanaugh of Lincoln and Andre Broadous of Grant are dangerous and have plenty of capable receivers.

Lincoln is especially deep, with seven players who have caught touchdown passes this season. The list: Jordan Polk, 30 receptions, 987 yards, 9 touchdowns; Elvis Akpla 34, 677, 7; Ted Gamble 20, 231, 2; Ryan Henderson 20, 215, 3; Eric McConachie 13, 153, 5; running back Andrew Sakai, 9, 86, 1; and Newton Stern, 8, 80, 2. Akpla sprained an ankle last week against Benson, however.

Grant throws long as often, if not more often, than Lincoln, using great speed on the flanks. The Generals' top pass catchers: Paul McCoy, 14 receptions, 460 yards, eight TDs; Isaiah Buchanan, 19, 308, 2; running back Kasseem Osheroff, 7, 242, 3; Bryan Butcher, 15, 221, 2; and running back Alex Melson, 6, 129, 2. 'I'll take them one on one with any defensive back in the state,' Broadous says.

• Grant and Lincoln are 7-0. Grant's opponents are a combined 17-32 this season, while Lincoln's opposition is 16-32. Both have played Southridge, Franklin and Wilson. … Lincoln's defense has new linebackers from last season. 'The linebackers were a big reason why we beat Grant (17-14) last year,' coach Chad Carlson says. 'They really held Broadous in check. Grant has very good runners, and this year's group is still trying to prove itself.' … Carlson calls fullback-linebacker Grant Schuberg of Grant 'a difference-maker on both sides of the ball.' … Grant kicker Gabe Miller will be playing Lincoln for the second day in a row; he is on the Generals' soccer team that had a match Thursday against the Cardinals. … 'I almost wish we weren't playing the same night, so we could go see it,' Roosevelt coach Cal Szueber says of the Grant-Lincoln game. 'If Grant doesn't turn the ball over, I think they can beat Lincoln,' he says. 'But Lincoln does so much offensively, and their defense is underrated.' … Franklin coach Richard Lex: 'Obviously, they're both talented, but I think Grant has more talent. But Lincoln plays with more discipline, and I think that's going to win the ballgame.'

• For Franklin, 'it's a two-week season,' Lex says. The Quakers can make the state playoffs if they beat visiting Benson tonight and win at Wilson next Friday. 'For starting six sophomores, that would be quite an accomplishment,' he says.

• Lincoln has won PIL 6A titles in volleyball and girls soccer, both for the second year in a row.

The volleyball team needed a victory Thursday at Benson to go undefeated in league matches for the second year in a row.

The soccer team, which has only three seniors, finished 5-0-1 in league by beating Wilson 2-0 on Wednesday.

'They are an incredible focused, hardworking group of young ladies,' Lincoln coach Jody Lim says of her players. 'We have four players who have scored five or more goals and I think 12 with assists, so I'm happy with our group effort in that area. It's great to see. The defensive unit has grown over the course of the season. They've been getting the job done. And our goalkeeper (Brett Rousseau) is going a great job, as well.'