New head coach Kevin Banks was all smiles as he greeted supporters on the field after his 2014 Red Devils trampled the McCormick Chiefs 49-8 last Friday in the Palmetto State. It was a complete game for the young Red Devils, showing good executive on offense, defense, and special teams.
Senior Jamar Norman led the rushing attack with 118 yards on eight carries. His 68-yard run on the second play of the game set the tone for the night.
Speedster freshman Midarious Roberts only touched the pigskin three times, but two of those were breakaway touchdown runs of 58 and 36 yards. He had 102 yards on the night.
As a team, the Red Devils outgained the Chiefs 378-90, with 70 of McCormick's yards coming on a single play. The Devil Defense allowed only 3 first downs, and McCormick did not cross midfield except on the long touchdown play. LC was flagged only four times, a small number for this early in the season.
On the steamy Friday night in McCormick County, Quay Hartfield returned the opening kickoff 24 yards to the Chief 29. Norman carried for three yards before breaking loose down the right side for 68 yards. Ryan O'Neill's kick gave the Devils a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the season.
The Chiefs managed one first down before the Devil Defense pushed them back behind the original line of scrimmage. Norman returned their punt 17 yards to the McCormick 33. Hartfield rushed for three with a facemask penalty adding five more. David Byrne gained four to the 21. QB LaKeith Lockhart connected with Byrne on the left side for the touchdown midway the first quarter.
McCormick managed one first down before its drive was stifled. A good punt put the Devils at their 39. Norman rushed for 3 before Roberts went untouched down the right side for 58 yards and his first career touchdown. With O'Neill's kick, the Devils led 21-0 with 1:10 left in the first quarter.
After another McCormick punt, the Devils started from their 28. Norman and Hartfield gained good yards on the ground before Lockhart passed 14 yards to Hartfield at the McCormick 12. Sophomore Trajan Crawford went untouched the final 12 for the score with 8:04 left in the first half.
It was another 3-plays-and-out drive for the Chiefs. McCormick stopped the Devils on their next possession, but roughed the LC punter. Roberts gained 8 yards before bursting through the line for 36 yards and his second touchdown. Oneil, uninjured from the roughing, booted his fifth PAT of the first half with 2:44 left in the second quarter.
The Devils pinned the Chiefs deep in their territory on their next drive. LC blocked the punt, but the punter picked up the pigskin and tried to pick up the first down. The Devils were quick to tackle him, and Big Red took over at the Chief 26. Lockhart gained 8 before passing to Jalan Wade for 18 yards and the touchdown with 29 seconds left in the half.
With the Devils leading 42-0, the second half was played with a running clock. Freshman Javon Reid recovered a fumble on McCormick's second play of the half. On 4th-and-11 at the 29, second string quarterback Jake Hahn found Austin Parks open deep on the right side for the Devils' seventh touchdown of the night. Oneil finished the night perfect, putting the visitors up 49-0 midway the third quarter.
McCormick scored on a 70-yard pass against the Red Devil's youngest players to avoid the shutout. Their 2-point pass made the final score 49-8.
This Friday, the competition will be much stiffer as the Washington-Wilkes Tigers make the 19-mile trek to Bubby Bufford Field. The Tigers return many of their good players from an outstanding 2013 team, and are currently ranked #6 in Class AA. They are a heavy favorite to win their region and head into the playoffs undefeated. A large crowd is expected, so be there early for the 7:30 kickoff.