SPARTA - Thankfully, and many years overdue, Hancock Central now has a good football stadium. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the result was the same: Lincoln County wins.
Our Red Devils jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead after two touchdown passes by Garrett Mohr, then added 21 in the third quarter to cement their seventh win of 2009. Only once in the past 37 seasons has Lincoln County ended the season with less than 7 victories (6-6 in 2001).
The victory, coupled with Wilkinson County's 19-7 win in Washington, sets up this week's game in Irwinton as (most likely) the showdown for the Region 7-A title. Both teams will host playoff games November 13, with the winner next week playing the fourth ranked team from Region 6-A, while the loser will host the third-ranked team. The 6-A playoff teams look to be Darlington, Bowdon, Bremen, and Trion, but placement is not yet set.
Our Devils went into Friday's game in Sparta missing several key players due to injuries and with others slowed by illness, but the team quickly took care of business. On the opening possession, Steven Morris broke a run for 19 yards to the Bulldog 36. QB Garrett Mohr rushed for 3 yards on 4th-and-1, then connected with Morris for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 8:33 left in the opening quarter. Walker Smith's PAT gave LC a 7-0 lead.
Franklin Sherman grabbed a Bulldog pass to end the home team's next possession, and returned the interception 10 yards to the Hancock 34. Four plays later, on 4th-and-3, Desmond Kilpatrick caught a Mohr pass on the left side and blew by 3 Bulldog tacklers on his way to the endzone on the 27-yard TD play. Smith's kick was good for a 14-0 Devil lead.
The Devil Defense kept the Bulldogs in their pen all night long. Hancock had minus 10 yards net offense in the first half. Excluding a drive against Devil substitutes in the fourth quarter, the Devil D kept Hancock to negative yardage for the game. They had one first down on a penalty, and one against the subs after the GHSA mercy rules were in use.
Lincoln County picked up two quick touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to all but ice the game. After a short Bulldog punt, Craig Jones exploded for 38 yards and a TD with 9:29 to go in the third. After another good Devil D stop, the Dogs punted, and DeVonte Wright returned up the left side 62 yards to the endzone with 8:10 on the clock. Smith's kick gave the Devils a 28-0 lead.
Another Bulldog possession, another punt. Ercell Daniel started the drive with an 18 run, and Jones added 14 to be just shy of the goalline. Mohr sneaked in from there with 2:21 left. Trey Brown closed out the scoring with a 33-yard jaunt with 5:28 left. The Devils were inside the Bulldog 10 as time wound down, but chose to let the clock run out rather than try to score again.