GREENSBORO- A 53-yard screen pass and a 47-yard punt return enabled the Lincoln County Red Devils to defeat Greene County here last night in a meeting of Georgia High School coaching legends.
The game set a new Georgia state record for the most victories for two opposing head coaches with 674 wins between Larry Campbell (426) and Charlie Winslette (248). Despite way too many mistakes for either coaching staff to be happy, the game enthralled the fans until the final minutes.
A. G. Middlebrooks led the Devils' offensive charge with 50 yards rushing on 7 carries and 77 yards receiving on 3 catches. Franklin Sherman saw the most time at QB, completing 7 of 12 attempts for 128 yards with no interceptions.
On the downside, the Devils fumbled the ball away 4 times and were penalized seven times for 50 yards.
A 47-yard run by Middlebrooks on the second play from scrimmage put the Devils at the Greene 26, but a fumble 3 plays later ended the threat. The Tigers fumbled on their first play, but the Devils were unable to make progress inside the Tiger 20. The Big Red Defense pushed Greene back, forcing a punt. Junior receiver Ercell Daniel caught the punt and went down the left sideline to paydirt, scoring 47 yards later. Walker Smith's PAT kick gave the Devils a 7-0 lead midway the first quarter.
The two teams traded the ball back-and-forth, primarily on the Tiger side of midfield, for the next 2 and a half quarters. Arguably the best "hands" play of the night happened midway the second when Sherman found senior tight-end Keestan Wynn dept down the right sideline. The ball was just short, but Wynn managed to catch it from behind the defender's back for what would have been a 55-yard TD pass had it not been for the yellow hanky and the succeeding holding call.
The Tigers got a receiver behind our defense early in the fourth for a 35-yard TD pass. The PAT kick tied the game at 7-all with just over 10 minutes to play.
Our Devils have a good kickoff return significantly shorted due to an illegal block penalty. The drive moved toward midfield, but mistakes led to a punt deep in Devil territory. The Tigers saw the momentum shifted toward their side of the gridiron, and marched to the LC 34 with 4 minutes left. The Devil Defense said enough is enough, and a run-for-loss and three incomplete passes ended the threat.
But our Devils were not content to go into overtime. Sherman found Daniel open for a 12-yard pass play. He then found Middlebrooks open on the left side for a screen pass, and A. G. jumped into high gear and motored down the left boudnary into the endzone untouched. Smith made the second PAT kick in as many tries in his career to give our Devils a 14-7 lead with 2:32 left in the contest.
Greene hit their primary running back on a 22-yard pass to move into LC territory at the 47. Two pass attempts gained zero yards before Wynn sacked the Tiger QB for a nine-yard loss. Greene failed to make a first down on 4th-&-19, essentially sealing the result with 47 ticks left on the clock.