Lincoln County earned its third victory of the season, and revenge from last year, with a 48-7 thrashing of the visiting Westside Patirots at The Bud here last Friday.
Quay Hartfield had a huge night running the ball with 171 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries. Jamal Norman also had a good night with 85 yards and two touchdowns on nine runs.
The Devil Defense was stellar in the second half, allowing no first downs and only nine yards. For the game, Westside gained 170 yards on 39 plays, with 45 coming on a single pass play. The Devil Defense also took the ball away three times (interception and two fumbles recovered)
The Devils amassed 401 yards on 35 plays with 16 first downs.
The Red Devils showed the Patriots early that this game would be much different than a year ago in Augusta. Midarious Roberts intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage, and returned it 26 yards to the Westside 19. Hartfield rushed for seven followed by a two-yard gain by QB Javon Reid. Reid then handed the pigskin to Jayden Robinson, who scored from 10 yards out. Ryan O'Neill booted the PAT for a 7-0 Red Devil lead ninety seconds into the game.
The Patriots picked up two first downs on their next possession before fumbling with Tydarius Elam recovering at the Westside 38. Norman ran for 15 with a facemask penalty adding 12 more. Norman rushed into the endzone on the next play, but a holding penalty nullified the effort and pushed the Devils back to the 22. Hartfield went around the right end behind good blocking to score with 5:12 left in the first quarter. O'Neill's kick put the Devils up 14-0.
The Patriots came right back, benefitting from a pass that, after fumbling and recovering their own fumble, moved the ball 45 yards to the LC 16. Four plays later Westside scored on a two yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The extra point cut the Devils' lead to sever, 14-7.
The Devils started from their 40 but were unable to move the ball enough. Their punt was almost blocked, and only went 14 yards. The Patriots put together good runs, and a 12-yard pass gave the visitors 3rd-and-1 at the LC 2. The Devil Defense caused a fumble that Robinson recovered at the seven. This would turn out to be the key play of the game, as Westside would not threaten again.
Quayfield got loose again for 58 yards, but a penalty brought the ball back 15 to midfield. A six-yard run by Norman earned the Devils a first down at the Westside 38 with only 17 ticks left on the first half clock. After an incompletion, Reid floated the ball over the middle to Roberts as he strode into the endzone. The PAT pass fell incomplete, but the Devils led 20-7 at the half after nearly being tied two minutes earlier.
Norman rambled for 18 yards to start the second half, with a facemask penalty tacking on 15 more to the Patriot 35. He then gained 13 more before Hartfield rushed for six. Norman then ran for 14 more to the two. With 10:47 left in the third, Norman scored from the two. The O'Neill kick gave the Devils a twenty point lead.
The Devil Defense stopped the Patriots short of a first down and forced a punt. From the LC 34, Hartfield scampered for 39 yards to the Westide 27. Quay wasn't finished as he again took the handoff and broke two tackles enroute to the endzone. The extra point increased the Devils' lead to 34-7.
Things only got worse for the Patriots as a first down at the 27 turned into 4th-and-28 at the 9 after a penalty and a sack by the Devil Defense. The Westside punt rolled dead at the Patriot 41.
Elam took the handoff, ran right, then cut left and just got the ball over the goalline at the left pylon for another Red Devil TD. Blake Beggs passed to Austin Parks for two points and a 42-7 advantage.
The Devil Defense stopped the Class AAA team on downs at the 50 to get the ball back. With the clock running under GHSA mercy rules, the Devils kept the ball on the ground and marched into the endzone. Norman scored from the 10 with about nine minutes left. The kick by the younger Devils went left, but the Devils were up 48-7.
The Patriots again failed to earn a first down and punted back to the Devils. With younger Devils playing, Lincoln County ran out the clock.
This Friday the Red Devils welcome Twiggs County to Lincolnton. The Cobras are rebuilding their program, with only 22 players participating this season. Their new coach is Ashley Harden, who led Butler to its best seasons a few years ago. The Cobras were competitive in their first two games, both against larger opponents. The pigskin will fly at 7:30 in Larry Campbell Stadium at Buddy Bufford Field.