The Patriots are led by quarterback Jared Long, who has completed 27 of 79 passes for 483 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target has been junior Trevor Merriman, who has caught 10 passes for 149 yards. Trent Calhoun has caught six passes for 220 yards and a score.
Hagan Folger leads the Lincoln running attack with 189 yards on 59 carries. He's scored twice.
"Early in the year, they were pretty much running the every snap," Stephens said. "They're getting to be more balanced with some passing sets and the Long kid has improved a lot as a quarterback. He's got a couple of good receivers, and they're more dangerous wth the ability to run the ball well and throw the ball too."
Stephens not happy with Franklin game
Stephens said his team is more balanced as well, but a 34-12 loss last week to Franklin County didn't do much to help Casey's confidence. After the game, Stephens berated the Rebels (0-4) for 10 minutes, singling out players who made mistakes to cost the team.
He hopes they've learned and will come to Friday's game ready to go.
"My biggest concern is turnovers and just the desire to play hard," Stephens said. "We're looking for senior leadership and that's something we've got to have. We went over game tapes, had them watch their individual effort and most of them noticed they weren't playing as hard as they could.
"You can't coach desire. We can go over X's and O's as much as we want to, but you still have to have the desire and the want to get it done."
Casey does hope to return two injured defensive players to the rotation in Michael Statham and Wesley Durham.
Both teams have an open week next week, so this is their final tuneup before district play begins. Lincoln will open up Class AAA, District 4 play at Marion County Oct. 1, while Casey will host Class AA, District 4 foe Garrard County that same night.
"Like we use every non-district game, the purpose of this game is to make ourselves better and to play good," Stephens said. "We're still looking to put four good quarters together. We haven't done that yet, and we sure didn't do it last week. That's got to be our goal every time out, and we're definitely looking forward to playing a good football game."
Lincoln coach Larry French did not return calls for this story.