ABBEVILLE, SC -- Lincoln County led for most of its game in Abbeville, but the Red Devils were unable to stop the Panthers rushing game in the fourth quarter. The #2 ranked team in South Carolina Class AA won the classic matchup 28-17 before a huge crowd.
Abbeville took the lead with 3:10 left in the first quarter on a 45-yard pass. Our Devils struck right back, with A. G. Middlebrooks taking the handoff and sprinting to his right before throwing across and down field to Wilkes Goolsby. The senior end outraced the Panthers to the endzone for a 75-yard touchdown pass play.
After stopping Abbeville on downs at the 40, the Devils went 6 plays with Tavious McGahee bulldozing in for the final 20. Middlebrooks ran for two points and a 14-7 Lincoln County lead with 9:30 left in the first half.
The Devils threatened again on their next possession with 1st-&-5 at the Abbeville 6. The game seemed to turn against our Devils at that point when back-to-back 15-yard penalties led to a 39-yard field goal by Vance Tarver instead of a touchdown. The Devils led by 10 halfway through the second quarter.
The well-coached Panthers didn't panic and instead drove 80 yards in 11 plays and scored on a 13-yard pass with 1:36 left in the half. Our Devils led 17-14 at the break.
Midway the second half, Abbeville kept the ball for nearly 8 minutes, driving 77 yards on 16 plays. The go-ahead touchdown came on a 1-yard run with 7:40 left in the game. Our Devils had a scoring chance deep in Panther territory after a fumble, but almost immediately turned the ball over themselves. The Panther QB got outside for a 74-yard touchdown run with 4:05 left in the game that all but sealed the result.
Abbeville totalled 283 yards rushing on 45 carries, and kept the ball for 30:15 of the game's 48 minutes.
This loss marked the first loss against a South Carolina team since a 14-7 win by McCormick in 1974. This was Abbeville's first win against our Devils after 6 losses in the 1980's.
The Devils host Commerce this coming Friday.