DEATH VALLEY, IRWINTON/MCINTYRE -- It was "DEFENSE, DEEEFENSE, DEEEEEEFENSE" last night in Wilkinson County as the Lincoln County Red Devils held the Warriors to only a single score enroute to a 10-6 Region 7-A win.
The victory, coupled with Washington-Wilkes' 21-18 win over Warren County, ensures Lincoln County the top seed from 7-A going into the playoffs. Our Red Devils will host a first round game on November 13, with Trion the likely opponent. If our Devils should lose to Warren County next Friday in the regular season finale, they would be tied with Wilkinson with one region loss, but win the tiebreaker based on head-to-head competition.
The 2009 region football crown is the 35th for our Devils since 1960, and the 31st in the last 36 years. This is also the 7th consecutive title for Lincoln County. The victory improves our Devils' record to 8-1, making 2009 the 37th time in the last 38 seasons that they have won at least 8 games.
The six points the Warriors scored was their lowest of the season. Their previous low was 16 in the 16-6 season opener win over Twiggs County. Twiggs has not lost since, and is the Region 2-A champ.
The Wilkinson quarterback, dangerous on every play, was held to a net 7 yards rushing and 61 passing (on 21 attempts). He had 202 yards passing against Washington-Wilkes a week earlier.
Great defensive play and turnovers kept both teams from the endzones for most of the night. The Warriors lightning-fast backs and ends kept the Devil fans standing much of the night, as they looked like they could get loose on any play. The 20+ yard punt returns started many Wilkinson drives in Devil territory, putting more pressure on the Devil Defense.
Lincoln County drew first blood when Walker Smith booted a 26-yard field goal with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter. The try was setup by Garrett Mohr passing 15 yards to Rusty Scott after faking a punt on 4th-&-15 at the Wilkinson 45.
The Warriors came right back, going 80 yards on 12 plays. The four-yard TD run came with 1:29 left in the first half. The score was setup by another 4th down conversion, this time a 28-yard pass when Wilkinson faced a 4th-&-5 at the LC 33. A mix-up on the PAT led to a failed pass, but the home team would lead 6-3 at the break.
Early in the third, the Warriors were driving when the Devil Defense knocked the pigskin loose. Keestan Wynn scooped the ball and rambled 60 yards to the Wilkinson 14. Three plays later Franklin Sherman found Ercell Daniel for 10 yards into the endzone. Smith's boot gave the Devils a 4-point margin, 10-6, with 8:01 to go in the quarter.
The Devils withstood 4 strong offensive attempts by the Warriors before the final whistle blew.