This Thursday Lincoln County travels to Augusta to play the undefeated and highly-ranked Aquinas Irish. A huge crowd is expected, so Red Devil fans need to get there early.
For those that don't follow prep sports, this may seem like a new rivalry. Actually, this series can be traced back to 1922.
Aquinas High was formed in 1957 with the combination of Boys' Catholic High and Mount St. Joseph Academy girls school. Aquinas did not play the Red Devils until 1970, with the first game a 6-6 tie at White Road Stadium in Augusta. The Fighting Irish won the next two, 13-6 in 1971 and 45-0 in Larry Campbell's first season in 1972. Future NFL player Tony Daykin led the Irish in 1972 to an 8-3 record. That was their most wins until last season's 9-4 record.
Since then it's been all Lincoln County for 31 straight wins. The only game with a margin of less than 7 points was a 15-9 win 1981.
The Red Devils met Boys' Catholic High three times on the gridiron. The Devils won 60-0 in 1939 and 14-6 in 1944. The outcome of the 1940 game is not known.
But newspaper articles indicate the football rivalry between a Catholic school in Augusta and Lincolnton started in 1922, the Red Devils' first season. Those articles indicate the Lincolnton High team played the Shamrocks from Augusta 7 times between 1922 and 1928. No direct connection has been found between the Shamrocks and Boys Catholic High or Aquinas High.
The first meeting was in 1922, and ended with a 62-6 Lincolnton win. In 1925 the Devils visited Augusta on Thanksgiving and whipped the Catholic kids 19-0. The following year, the Lincoln Countians defeated the Shamrocks 13-0 on October 15.
The Augusta folks invited Lincoln County to a rematch at the Richmond Academy stadium. When the visitors arrived on Thanksgiving morning, they quickly realized they had been setup. Dressed for the game was not the high school kids they had faced a month earlier, but older, heavier players. Some of those men had played on college teams. The Lincoln Journal reported that the previous game "had gotten on the Irish nerve of Augusta and made a sore spot ... and they laid for Tutt's boys last Thursday morning good and proper." The Lincolnton crew played as best they could before falling 28-0.
That 1926 game was the last Thursday meeting between the Catholic school in Augusta and the team from Lincoln County. That is, until this week. Even though the game will be broadcast live on Channel 6.2, Red Devil fans need to make every effort to attend and support their team!