WASHINGTON - Lincoln County dominated the Tigers here last Friday before allowing two late scores. The 26-13 Red Devil win gives Lincoln County a 37-35-6 lead in the all-time series between the two heated rivals.
The victory marks a milestone for head coach Kevin Banks as it is his first in two tries over Washington-Wilkes. The win improves the Devil's record to 2-0. This is the season opener for the Tigers, and the first game for their new head coach.
Jamal Norman led the Devil rushing attack with 81 yards on 7 carries. Midarious Roberts carried only twice, but scored both times (5 and 55). Javon Reid completed five of six pass attempts for 94 yards. Austin Parks was the leading receiver with two catches for 48 yards.
The Tigers won the toss and took the football to open the contest. Keeping the pigskin mainly on the ground, W-W made four first downs and moved to the LC 29. The Devil Defense tightened, and a fourth down pass fell incomplete. The Devils took over at their 34.
Two running plays gained only a single yard, but a sportsmanship penalty moved the ball to midfield. Roberts went untouched from there behind good blocking. Ryan O'Neill's PAT kick put the Devils up 7-0 just over midway the operning quarter.
The two rivals, playing before a large crowd in the stadium and a live television audience, traded punts on their next possessions. The Tigers picked up two first downs, including one aided by one of the few Devil penalties of the night. The Devils halted the Tiger drive at the W-W 46, forcing a punt which Tydarius Elam returned to the LC 38.
A pass from Reid to David Byrne gained 31 yards. Another pass from Reid to Byrne would have gained 9 yards, but a holding flag backed the Devils up to the Tiger 40. Lincoln came right back with Reid passing to Parks for 28 yards to the 12. Three plays lost 8 yards against the tough Tiger defense. O'Neill booted a 37-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the half.
The Tigers started with good field position at their 35, but a huge sack stopped the possession. The Devils started at their 28 after the punt. Norman ran for a dozen yards. Three plays later Elam broke one tackle at the line and rambled for 37 yards to the W-W 15. A play later Reid passed 20 yards to Parks, who made a great catch and run to the 1. Reid sneaked through the middle for the Devils' second touchdown. The PAT gave the Devils a 17-0 lead with 2:35 left before the bands marched.
The Tigers managed one yard on three plays before kicking a short punt that rolled to a stop at their 41 with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Quay Hartfield got a good bounce on a fumble and gained 13 to the WW 28. He rushed for two more yards before Reid passed eight yards to Xavier Gartrell. Two plays lost three yards before O'Neill was perfect on a 38-yard field goal as the half ended. The Devils led 20-0.
Lincoln County took the second half kickoff and went back to work. Norman, after running for eight yards on first down, broke loose left of center for 49 yards to the W-W 10. He would have scored had it not been for a speedster in the W-W defensive backfield. Three plays later a fumble ended the threat at the two.
The Devil Defense would not let the Tigers out of their hole, and Elam returned the resulting punt 13 yards to the W-W 24. Hartfield rushed for 2 before Reid kept the pigskin for 6. On 4th-and-2, Reid rushed for the first down at the 14. Norman gained three and Jayden Robinson one before a personal foul gave the Devils a 1st-and-goal at the 5. Elam scored from there with 5:18 left in the third quarter. The PAT kick barely missed, leaving the Devils up 26-0 with less than 18 minutes to play.
The Tigers then put together a 16-play scoring drive, with almost all of the gains coming on runs. The 2-yard touchdown run came on the second play of the fourth quarter. The PAT went wide left, but the Tigers had averted the shutout, 27-6.
The Devils managed one first down on their next drive, but had to punt from midfield. The Tigers gained a single yard on their next possession, and punted. The Devils would have been in great field position in W-W territory, but a personal foul penalty moved LC to the other side of the 50. The Devils came up two yards short of a first down, and punted back to the Tigers with less than five minutes left in the contest.
With time getting short, the Tigers completed six consecutive passes. The last was 26 yards for a touchdown with 2:18 left. The PAT cut the Devils' lead to 26-13.
The Devils secured the Tigers' onside kick attempt, and Hartfield gained a first down to let the Devils run out the clock for their 26-13 victory. The win snaps a three-game Tiger win streak in The 378 War.
The Red Devils are off this coming Friday. On September 11, they will host Westside and seek revenge for the Patriots big win in Augusta last year.