Has it been about a year since that hot afternoon in Tiger Stadium?
That afternoon game in The 378 War brought back the history of Thanksgiving Day games from a half-century earlier. Numbers folks found last year's meeting interesting, since along the way the Devils led 25-0 (the same score from the 2005 Class A title game) before winning 32-0. The game was the 32nd win for our Devils, evening the all-time grudge match at 32-32-6.
This Friday in Lincolnton provides our Red Devils an opportunity to go ahead in the series. When that last occurred, in 2006, the Tigers shutout our Devils 3-0 on Buddy Bufford Field.
Our Red Devils are 5-1 and Washington-Wilkes is 4-2. Records don't matter in this one. However, the outcome does matter this year, unlike the past two seasons, since the Tigers have returned to Region 7-A and will fight for the title and playoff spots. The other primary contender looks to be Wilkinson County.
The Tigers finished 5-6 last year but played many freshmen and sophomores. Those youngsters now have experience, as W-W returned 10 starters on offense and 9 on defense. Tha Tigers have at least 4 college prospects: LB/FB Drew Wilson, and linemen Tyrece Ashmore (6-2, 325), Larry Raiford (6-2, 285), and Anthony Smith (6-1, 230). Smith is reportedly the big playmaker on defense. Eric Scott is averaging 10.6 yards per carry (528 on 50 with 2 TDs), which is better than our A. G. Middlebrooks's numbers after 6 games.
Don't be misled by their 2 losses. They lost to Thomson 14-7 on a late fumble, and played most of the game against Blessed Trinity after losing 6 starters early.
If you want to see this one and not stand up all game, get to Buddy Bufford Field early. As usual, a huge crowd is expected for the 71st meeting of these two great football schools.