Lincoln County's Red Devils quickly took the lead here Friday and never looked back enroute to a 35-8 win over arch-rival Washington-Wilkes. Members of the 1960 Lincolnton team, winner of the Red Devils' first state football title, watched after being honored before the game.
Thomas Bunch assisted with the coin-toss with Buddy Radford looking on. Both were assistants to Buddy Bufford on the 1960 team.
The 2010 Red Devils ran up 434 yards on the Tigers. Franklin Sherman led the attack with 16 completions in 23 attempts for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 7 times for 65 yards with a touchdown. Craig Jones led LC rushers with 91 yards and 2 scores on 12 carries. Tyler Banks caught 4 passes for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns, followed by Rusty Scott with 8 catches for 52 yards. The Devils made 24 first downs. Lincoln County quarterback and punter Garrett Mohr did not dress for the game due to an arm injury.
The Devil Defense continued their outstanding play. It last allowed a first half touchdown in the first quarter of the season.
Lincoln County now leads the all-time series with the Tigers 35-32-6, and have won the last four and eight of the last nine.
Washington-Wilkes won the toss and opted to go on offense first. The Devil Defense didn't let that last long, with Ercell Daniel intercepting a pass on the first play from scrimmage at the WW 48.
Sherman passed to Scott for four yards, and then to Banks for four before Jones rambled for 19 to the WW 21. Sherman ran for 10 before Jones rushed for another five. Jones then went untouched up the middle for the final six yards with 9:36 left in the opening period. Dylan Arthur booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
The Devil Defense forced a punt on the Tigers' next possession, with Daniel returning the boot 11 yards to the LC 42. Sherman ran for 12 and Daniel for 14 to the WW 32. Daniel then picked up 13 more yards on three carries for a first down on the WW 19. Banks caught a Sherman pass for the touchdown. After Arthur's kick, Lincoln County led 14-0 with 5:38 left in the first.
The two teams traded punts on their next possessions before the Tigers moved into Red Devil territory. A hook-and-trailer play along with two runs set up the Tigers with a first down at the LC 10 before a fumble ended the threat. Jones recovered the miscue for the home team.
More punts occupied the teams until the Tigers again threatened, moving to the LC 26 before the Devil Defense stopped the drive on downs at the LC 20. A shuttle pass from Sherman to Scott gained 22 yards. Banks then got behind the Tiger defenders down the right side, caught Sherman's pass, and was off to the end-zone on a 63-yard play with 1:45 left in the half.
Lincoln County threatened again, to the WW 17, before the first half clock ticked down to 0:00. The Devils led 21-0 at the break.
The Red Devils came out in the second half and went back to work. Sherman scored on a 4-yard run less than three minutes into the third quarter to cap a 69-yard, 8-play drive.
Washington-Wilkes had certainly not given up. Tiger star running back Eric Scott came out of the backfield, got behind our Devil secondary, and caught Teverrius Jones pass for a 76-yard touchdown. The Tigers were successful on their 2-point run to cut the LC lead to 28-8.
If there was any thought of staging the biggest comeback against the Devils in over 40 years, Lincoln County made sure it was short-lived. Starting from its 28, Sherman passed 18 yards to Mason Saggus. Jones ran for 11 yards to the LC 43, and then got loose for 34 to the Tiger 13. Jones bulled for 7 more before scoring from the 6 midway the third quarter. Arthur continued his perfact PAT kick ways with his 5th boot of the night for the final 35-8 margin.
The Tigers would make one more serious threat, to the LC 34 early in the fourth. Daniel ended that Tiger drive with his second interception of the game. The Devils gained a first down on the Tiger 4 with 2:12 left, but decided to take a knee three times rather than attempt to score again.
Lincoln County improved to 6-1 with the win, while the Tigers fell to 2-5 as their tough season continues.
The competition promises to be much tougher this week when the Red Devils travel to Augusta to take on Aquinas. The Irish, sporting a 6-1 record, are having one of their best seasons ever. They are currently fifth in Class A in scoring offense with nearly 40 points per game, and sixth in points differential at 27.7. Their only loss was a 13-7 nailbiter to Wilkinson County in Irwinton. (Lincoln County is third in points allowed at 8.4, and ninth in differential at 26.6.)
Aquinas was ranked in the Class A Top Ten earlier in the season but dropped out after its one loss. Lincoln County is currently fifth.
Kickoff is 7:30 at the Aquinas stadium behind the school on Highland Avenue (near Daniel Field).