Lincoln County stopped the Vikings a few inches short with less than a minute to go to secure a 21-20 win over First Presbyterian Day school. This was the first visit by the Macon school to Buddy Bufford Field.
The Devils took a quick lead with Mike McIntire scoring on a 39-yard run to end the first drive of the night. The touchdown was setup by a 24-yard run by McIntire. James Spratlin's PAT kick gave the Devils a 7-0 lead with 10:20 left in the first quarter.
After each team punted on their next possessions, the Vikings started on their 6 and drove to their own 40 where they faced a 4th-&-2. The visitors chose to go for the first down, but came up a yard short due to the Devil Defense.
The Devils took over and drove to the 26 thanks to runs by Jamar Norman and McIntire. On 3rd-&-10, McIntire broke loose for 17 yards. Norman rushed for 2 before Lakeith Lockhart found Ben Turner open for the 7-yard TD pass. Spratlin's kick put the Devils ahead 14-0 with just over eight minutes left int he half.
Three runs of move than 10 yards and a 25-yard pass setup the Vikings for a 1-yard plunge by the quarterback for their first score. With 5:46 left, the private school had closed the gap to 14-7.
A 16-yard run by McIntire and 26-yard run by Lockhart gave the Devils a first down at the Viking 14 on LC's next possession. McIntire rushed for 10 to the 4 before a fumble ended the Devil threat with 2:44 left in the half.
FPD moved from its 4 to the LC 14 in 11 plays, converting on a 4th-&-1 along the way. Fred Crite ended the threat with an interception in the end zone three seconds before halftime.
The Vikings returned the second half kickoff 30 yards and marauded down the field for 14 plays, including two fourth down conversions. After taking nearly six minutes off the clock, the Vikings were stopped on 4th-&-1 at the LC 18 by the middle of the Red Devil line.
Heading back up the field, McIntire rushed for eight yards. Lockhart passed to Max Ashmore for another eight. After a 2-yard McIntire run, Lockhart connected with Ashmore for 11 yards to the LC 46, with a dead ball foul penalty adding another 15. Norman gained 7 on the ground before McIntire rambled for 19. A personal foul penalty moved the pigskin to the FPD 6. Lockhart faked to McIntire into the line then went around right end into the endzone for the touchdown. The PAT kick gave the Devils a 21-7 lead with 3:37 left in the third period.
Both teams punted on their next possessions, but the Devil punt was only 26 yards with the punter doing a good job getting the punt away. The Vikings scored on a 40-yard pass on the next play. The kick cut the Devils' lead to 21-14 with 9 seconds left in the quarter.
The Devils gained one first down on their next possession but had to punt from midfield. After a personal foul, the Vikings began their drive from their 11. A 25-yard run and a 36-yard pass gave FPD a first down at the LC 17. One play later a 13-yard run resulted in 1st-&-goal at the LC 3. The Vikings scored on a 2-yard quarterback sneak, cutting the margin to 21-20 with 4:50 left. FPD went for two, but their rusher was stopped on the right side short of the endzone, preserving a Devil lead.
The Devils needed first downs to run the clock out. Starting from its 34 after the kickoff, Lockhart rushed for 11. Then things turned against the home team, with a delay-of-game penalty moving them back 5 yards. A short run and an incompletion left the Devils with 3rd-&-12. A sack cost 4 yards and forced the punt attempt. The punt snap was high, and the punter's knee touched the ground before he got the punt off. That turned the ball over to the Vikings at the LC 25 with 2:43 left.
Two runs gained nine yards, leaving 3rd-&-1 at the LC 16 with less than a minute left. The QB was stopped for no gain. On fourth down, the middle of the Red Devil defensive line stopped the running back with no gain, giving the Devils the ball on downs. The pigskin had ended up about 8" short of the line-to-make. With 25 seconds left, the Devils were able to run out the clock and preserve the Region 7-A victory.
Mike McIntire rushed 20 times for 176 yards and one touchdown, and caught two passes for 8 yards. Lakeith Lockhart completed five of 12 pass attempts for 34 yards and one touchdown, and ran 11 times for 41 yards and a score.
Lincoln County improves to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 7-A.
This Friday will see the return of a former Red Devil star in a very different role. Outstanding player Cherard Freeman took over the head coaching job in Warren County for the 2013 season. Freeman, previously the head coach at Portal in 2010, has had a tough start as the Screaming Devils have lost to Washington-Wilkes, George Walton Academy, Glascock County, and Hancock Central.
Be at Buddy Bufford Field early and support our Red Devils!