BUDDY BUFFORD FIELD, LINCOLNTON -- It's always a little bothersome when someone schedules Homecoming for your game at their field, considering that the home team usually wants to make a good showing on that special night. And Buddy Bufford Field always shows up on the list of most intimidating places for visitors to play.
Then consider this fact -- a Larry Campbell coached team has NEVER lost a Homecoming game. A resounding 37-0 victory over Aquinas last night continued the streak that is now 38 years old. As far as we know, that is a Georgia state record.
The Fighting Irish came in with a new head coach, a new attitude, a 2-game winning streak, and high hopes. Our Devils took care of business this night better than any game so far this season.
Jathan Mickens returned the opening kickoff 38 yards to midfield. Desmond Kilpatrick rambled for 25 yards before DeVonte Wright ran for 9 more. Tavious McGahee scored from 16 yards out. Walker Smith booted the PAT and a 7-0 lead with only 81 seconds off the clock.
After forcing a punt, the Devils went back to work, but this time mainly in the air. Franklin Sherman connected with Wright for 7 and then Kilpatrick for 17 to midfield. A 22-yard pass from Sherman to Craig Jones put the pigskin at the 23. McGahee picked up a first down to the 12, but the drive fizzled at that point. Smith booted a 28-yard field goal with 3:18 left in the first for a 10-0 lead.
Two minutes later Ercell Daniel grabbed an interception at the LC 35. Sherman found Kilpatrick open for 48 yards, being stopped just short of the goalline. Sherman went in from there with 11:42 left in the half.
After another good defensive stand, Aquinas punted. Daniel caught the ball at the 30, went left and up the Lincoln County sideline and was never touched. The 70-yard punt return for TD with 9:52 left in the half gave the Devils some breathing room.
But Daniel wasn't finished after his interception and punt return. After another Irish punt, Big Red started from their 27. The handoff went to Daniel, and he was gone again. This time the run was 73 yards, scoring with 8:01 left in the second quarter. Smith's PAT kick put the Devils up 30-0.
Franklin Sherman did what all quarterbacks would love to do - intercept an opponent's pass - to end the Irish's next possession. Garrett Mohr took over at QB, and two plays later found Wright in the left corner of the endzone for the final Devil TD of the night with 3:49 left in the first half.
The second half went by quickly, with the fourth quarter played under GHSA's mercy rules.
Lincoln County has an open date next week before traveling up 378 to Washington on October 16. The Tigers, now 4-2, also have next week off.