Lincoln (1-2) averages 131 rushing yards a game led by Matt Carrier's 131 yards and three touchdowns. Austin Hinds has thrown for 247 yards and three touchdowns with five interceptions, and Ryan West has five catches for 88 yards and two scores to lead the Lincoln offense that averages 22.6 points and 213 yards of offense per game.
While Settles wants to get his ground game going, his defense needs to slow down Washington's spread offense. Like Washington, Lincoln is averaging more than 30 points game allowed this season at 32.3.
When Washington came to Lincoln last season, the Commanders put up 35 points to down the Patriots in the Death Valley Bowl. Washington is averaging 19.6 points a game, but has scored 26 and 27 points in its last two games. The Commanders are also giving up 35 points per game.
"Coach Mark Perry stays consistent with his philosophies and that is why their players play with confidence each year. Offensively, they spread the field vertically and horizontally," Settles said. "They run the ball well out of the spread and have a dynamite athlete in (running back) Quan Turner. He is quick and elusive.
"They have five returning starters from an offense that scored 35 points on us last year, and three of those starters return at wide receiver. Four of their starting five offensive linemen are seniors."
While he has concerns with his offense and defense, Settles has been pleased with his special teams.
"Our special teams phase of the game has been strong the last two weeks, and they will continue to improve as long as we stay healthy," he said. "Our players have figured it out that special teams is an opportunity to make a big play, whether it is a big hit or scoring a touchdown."
Friday's game is the final one before the Patriots open up Class AAAAA district play against Southwestern and Pulaski County at home, and Settles said they need a win before district play begins.
"I like our schedule and it will help prepare us for district play. We need a win and if our kids play the way they are capable, we will. This is our final tune-up before we play a challenging district schedule. I expect our players to play with passion and great intensity for 48 minutes."
* * *
Casey County (1-3) at Powell County (1-2)
Casey County hopes to snap a three-game losing streak at Powell County. The Rebels have been outscored 130-6 in their last three games. Powell has given up 67 points in three games, but all those have come in its last two against Morgan County and Lewis County.