WASHINGTON - Lincoln County defeated the Washington-Wilkes Tigers here last Friday 28-12 in a game much closer than the final score indicates. The win wass the ninth by the Red Devils in the last ten meetings between the two arch-rivals. The Tigers have not won in Washington since 2001.
Red Devil Head Coach Larry Campbell, now 454-78-3, was not happy with the effort by his players. He said after the game that his team would have to improve to make a good playoff showing.
Lincoln County, now 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 7-A, will host Aquinas this Friday night at 7:30. The Irish are having one of their best seasons ever with a 6-1 record. Running back Brendan Douglas scored three times and rushed for 113 yards on nine carries, sometimes from the wildcat formation, against non-region foe Jeff Davis last Friday. The Irish won 44-14 against the Class AA school, and are averaging scoring 37 points per game while allowing only 9 points per game. Their only loss was by 2 points to Landmark Christian, which was undefeated until last Friday. Aquinas is currently tied with the Red Devils for first place in the region, and has already defeated Wilkinson County.
This past Friday in Washington, seeing limited duty while recovering from a hip pointer, Craig Jones led the Devil offense with 88 yards on 11 carries. Denzel Gunby carried 13 times for 60 yards. Mike McIntire ran 9 times for 43 yards.
Gunby completed 9 of 15 pass attempts for 74 yards. Tra Brown was the leading receiver with two catches for 41 yards.
Lincoln County got off to a good start with a 30-yard kickoff return by Jonathan Partlow. The drive fizzled at mid-field. The Devil Defense forced a Tiger punt. The Devils earned three first downs before the drive was halted at the Tiger 30. Jones had a 15-yard run and Gunby an 18-yard gallop. Big Red punted to the Tiger 7.
Washington-Wilkes managed one first down before punting from their 19. Mason Saggus returned the kick 30 yards to the Tiger 30. Gunby ran for four and passed to Saggus for four. Tra Brown gained 8 for a first-and-goal at the 4. Back-to-back offside flags moved the pigskin to the 1. McIntire scored on second effort with 11:29 left in the first half. James Spratlin booted the first of four extra points for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers fumbled the ensuing kickoff with the Devils recovering at the Tiger 20. Gunby connected with Zireycus Letman for 3 yards. Jones had a big gainer to the 6. Three plays later Brown caught a quick 4-yard pass from Gunby at the goal line to add to the visitor's lead. Spratlin put the Devils up 14-0 with 9:11 left in the second quarter.
The Tiger runner fumbled on their next possession, but got a home-field bounce with another Tiger scooping the ball and running to the Devil 33 on a play that gained 47 yards. Letman ended the threat with an interception at the goalline that he returned to the LC 24.
That drive ended on downs. A 35-yard pass put the Tigers back at the LC 33. Three plays later a Tiger running back broke loose on a 28-yard run to the endzone with 1:12 left in the half. The PAT kick was wide right, leaving the Devils with a 14-6 advantage at the intermission.
The Tigers drove into Red Devil territory on their first two possessions of the second half, but came up empty. The long drives wore down the clock, with each team having the ball only once in the third quarter.
The Devils took over on their 30 with 11 minutes left in the game. Jones took over the offense with runs of 32, 15, and 12, the latter for the third Devil TD with 8:18 left in the game.
After keeping the Tigers pinned in their end of the field on their next possession, the Devils marched down the field on an 11-play, 65-yard drive. McIntire was the workhorse this time with runs of 2, 19, 10, and 8. The 8-yard carry went into the endzone with 1:56 left to all but seal the outcome in the Devils' favor. A 28-6 advantage would seem to be insurmountable, but the Tigers came from 13 down in the last three minutes of their previous game to force an overtime which they won.
The Devil Defense played more of a prevent defense, allowing the Tigers to score on a 15-yard pass with 40 seconds left in the game. The two-point pass play failed, leaving the final score at 28-12.
The Devils have now won at least seven games for the 38th time in the past 39 seasons. The only exception was the 6-6 record in 2001. Since 1959 (53 seasons), the Devils have won at least seven games 46 times.