The Lincoln County Homecoming game, even if played a day early due to weather concerns, has ended the same way for the past 37 years - a win for the Red Devils.
This past Thursday night, Hancock Central provided the opposition. The game was decided well before half-time, so the fans could focus on the main event - the crowning of the new Homecoming Queen.
The Bulldogs from Sparta had had a bleak 2008, and that didn't change in Lincolnton. The Devils scored early and often in the first half, with Wilkes Goolsby catching a 19-yard pass from Bo Reed to cap the Devils' first possession. Vance Tarver's PAT kick only 85 seconds into the game gave the home team all the points it would need.
But Goolsby wasn't done. Three minutes later he was on the receiving end of a 45-yard TD pass play from Franklin Sherman.
Three turnovers in the first half slowed the Devils some, but not much. Josh Sims scored on a 5-yard run with 7:45 left in the half, followed by Jafabian Green from the same distance with 5:33 left.
Bo Reed scampered in from 4 yards out with 1:44 to go before the festivities started. Steven Morris capped the scoring with a 1-yard run 1:15 before the half ended. The second half was played under the GHSA mercy rules. Hancock Central threatened to score as the final ticks round down, but the shutout was preserved.
Next Friday night in Lincolnton is expected to be a much different story, as the very strong Wilkinson County Warriors come visiting in the Region 7-A title showdown. The Warriors walloped Washington-Wilkes 44-7 this past Friday night.
(Photos courtesy Sparky Newsome and The Lincoln Journal.)