TIPTON — The tough stretch of games continues for the Tipton Cardinals this week as they get ready to play the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1 in the Lincoln Cardinals.
Tipton (1-4) is coming off a 48-6 loss to Slater, the fourth loss in a row for the Cardinals. In their last three games, Tipton has played against opponents who have a combined record of 14-1.
Tipton coach Tony Braby said the Cardinals had opportunities against Slater, but made some mistakes that made it tough to stay in the game.
Braby said it doesn't get any easier with playing Lincoln as the Cardinals have had some bad luck with injuries to go with their tough schedule.
"We had two starting wide receivers who did not make it back for the Slater game," he said. "We had our starting fullback and linebacker, Cameron Whisler, that went out with an ankle injury early in the first quarter and never made it back and I am don't know if he is going to be ready.
"It is kind of a year of injuries and poor play and that is kind of where we are at right now and just a really tough schedule."
But Braby said the Cardinals can't afford be negative about their situation and have to have a short memory and get ready for the next game.
Some positive news for Tipton is the two starting wide receivers who could not play against Slater — Michael Buckner and Cooper Allee — will be back for tonight's game and the team could be at full strength except for possibly Whisler.
Braby said Lincoln has proven to be very good at taking advantage of other teams mistakes.
"Lincoln just does everything so well," he said. "They just capitalize on any mistakes you make and they don't make many mistakes. They were in the state championship game last year and they are bringing back a ton of experience, they have size, speed, and toughness.
"We are definitely going to have our hands full."
Braby said Tipton is going to have to try to slow the game down tonight against Lincoln.
"Throw the ball, we are going to have to cut out mistakes and cut out turnovers and just got to play a near perfect game and hope that they are not on top of their game and we will see what happens," he said.
"If we are 100 percent healthy and everyone is playing hard and doing their jobs, I think our passing game will help move the ball down the field. You are not going to be able to run at Lincoln up the middle and possibly if we are getting our blocks maybe we can get some things going on misdirection or some outside sweeps.
"You don't get very many opportunities and when you do you have to make the best of them. We are going to be able to throw the ball."
Short quick passes will be important against Lincoln's defense.
"They bring so much pressure that we are not going to have a lot of time to stay in the pocket and make the throws," Braby said. "It is going to have to be short, quick stuff and hopefully we can do something against their defensive backs that increase our yardage after the catch."
Tipton quarterback Blake Fischer returned to the lineup for the game against Slater.
Fischer completed 14-of-28 passes for 133 yards the game.
Fischer had been injured the last three weeks and Braby said Fischer had to scramble a lot to avoid pressure during the game against Slater.
Lincoln (5-0) is coming off a 49-12 win against Sweet Springs.