The Lincoln County Red Devils ended their outstanding football season Saturday night with a heartbreaking last-minute loss to number one ranked Trion in the State Class B Championsip game. The game was deadlocked 0-0 with 1:15 minutes remaining, when Trion quarterback Jeff Ware hit end David Williams on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Both teams played superb defensive football throughout the game with neither being able to generate much offense. In the second quarter, halfback John Tutt broke loose to the Trion 25 but on the next play the Red Devils fumbled. Trion's only threat was in the third quarter when Ware completed a 45-yard pass to Jeff Bowers inside the Devil five yard line. However, on their next play, Don Cartledge knocked the ball loose from the carrier with a bruising tackle and the Red Devils recovered. The game continued to see-saw back and forth until Trion began its winning drive with two minutes left in the game.
The Lincoln County lads did an amazing and unbelievable job in reaching the state championship game. Though being underdogs against sixth-rated Charlton County the Red Devils won 29 to 7 for the [Sectional] championship and then last week against second-rated Lyons the Devils won 7 to 6. And then against number one rated Trion who remained undefeated all season, the local lads again choked the odds-makers who predicted Trion to win by three touchdowns.
Coach Larry Campbell said Monday that he was disappointed in not bringing the State Championship back to Lincolnton, but that he was "extremely proud of his team and their efforts during the sesson." He had extreme high praise for the fine job of his young coaching staff. He also praised the efforts of the Lincoln County faculty, the band, the cheerleaders and the booster club. and especially the true Red Devil fans that he labeled "the greatest high school fans anywhere. All of the people connected with the above groups made our football season what it was this year," Campbell said.
Coach Campbell refused to single out outstanding players in the championship game, stating that "it was a team effort like most of our games this past season." He did say, however, that the leadership contributed by the 12 seniors had a great effect on the team through the season.
Lincoln County will return seven lettermen for next year's team, and the coach said that he believed they had the nucleus for another good year.