It only took 86 years. But, in a way, that just makes the accomplishment that much sweeter!!
Lincoln County now leads its all-time series with arch-rival Washington-Wilkes by 1 win, 33-32-6. Friday night's 14-6 victory on a rainy night in Georgia provided the long-awaited moment.
As should be expected in this 71-game series, the game wasn't decided until the final minute when the final Tiger pass fell incomplete. Four Red Devil turnovers kept the game close, but the Devil Defense gave up only two big plays all night.
Our Devils took the opening kickoff and drove to the Tiger 19 before the drive fizzled. A 36-yard field goal attempt just missed, hitting the left upright. After an exchange of punts, the Tigers started from their 37. The W-W receiver got behind the Devil defenders, caught the pass, and outraced the Devils to the endzone. The 63-yard TD play gaves the Tigers the lead with 11:01 left in the second quarter. The PAT kick was blocked by the Devils.
It looked like it was going to be a bad night for the homestanding crowd when the Devils muffed the succeeding kickoff with the Tigers recovering at the LC 33. The Devil Defense sacked the Tiger quarterback for a 12-yard loss on third down to force a punt and end the threat.
Starting from its 7 and aided by penalties, the Devils moved to the Tiger 43. A pass was intercepted, but the ball came loose with the Devils recovering at the W-W 30. The running game got in gear, making good on two fourth-down conversions. The last was a 3-yard burst by A. G. Middlebrooks into the endzone. Vance Tarver's PAT kick gave the Devils a 7-6 lead at 2:33 in the second that would stand into the fourth quarter.
After forcing a punt on the Tigers' opening possession of the second half, Big Red drove into Tiger territory before the advance was stopped. Tarver's 53-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The teams traded the ball with punts until the next-to-last play of the third quarter when a Devil fumble setup the Tigers at the LC 33. Four plays netted only 4 yards against the tough Devil D, giving LC the ball on downs at the LC 30. A Devil punt pushed the Tigers to their 39. W-W picked up one first down but then faced a 4th-&-5 at the LC 43. The Tigers lined up in punt formation, but the Devils noticed the Tiger QB as the blocker. The snap went to the QB, who was quickly smothered for a 2-yard loss.
On the next play, Lincoln County ran one of the oldest plays in its playbook, "Killer 7", with Middlebrooks breaking through on a 55-yard run down the left side of the soggy field. Tarver's kick with 5:18 left in the game gave our Devils some breathing room.
But the Tigers, as expected, did not give up. Their receiver again got behind our defenders for a 41-yard gain to the LC 27 with about 4:00 left. Major Elam stopped W-W's leading rusher for a 1-yard loss, followed by a QB sack for a 7-yard loss. On 3rd-&-18, the Tigers went to the air again, but this time Jarren Brown intercepted for the Devils at the LC 21.
The elation on the Devil sideline was shortlived as a fumble two plays later at the LC 19 gave the Tigers an excellent opportunity to tie the game. Two passes fell incomplete before Keestan Wynn sacked the Tiger QB for a 12-yard loss. After a Tiger timeout, W-W's final breath was taken away as its pass attempt failed. The Devils ran out the clock and FINALLY took the lead in the legendary rivalry.