JEFFERSONVILLE - Lincoln County beat Twiggs County for the second time this season to capture its ninth victory of the year. The Red Devils will make their state-record 42nd consecutive playoff appearance November 13, probably hosting Mount Zion.
The Devils finished the regular season with the fourth best Power Points rating among Class A Public schools, and will be seeded seventh due to some lower-rating teams winning their regions. Mount Zion from the Carroll County school system will visit Lincolnton in the first round. The Eagles, from Region 6-A, are 7-3 with a 12.2 rating.
Aquinas beat Stratford Academy 48-28 to capture the Region 7-A title for the third straight season. The Irish (13.92 Power Points) are seeded third in the Class A Private bracket, and will probably host Brookstone in the first round.
Region 7-A has six teams making the playoffs. In addition to the Devils and Aquinas, Twiggs County, Wilkinson County, Stratford Academy, and First Presbyterian all look to see post-season action. Defending Class A Public state champ Hawkinsville finished at 5-5 and failed to make the playoffs.
The Georgia High School Association will review and certify the Power Points numbers and resulting seeding after press time, so the above projections could change. Class A teams have a week off this week as all other classes start their playoffs.
On a foggy night in Jeffersonville, the Red Devil defense stopped the Cobras on the opening possession, forcing a short punt that gave Lincoln County the pigskin near midfield. Javon Reid connected with Quay Hartfield for ten yards to the Cobra 43. Hartfield then ran for eight, and gained two more on third down for a first down at the 32. Hartfield for seven and Jayden Robinson for another seven moved the ball to the 18. Tydarius Elam rushed for seven to the 11. An illegal procedure flag cost the Devils five. Reid was almost sacked but got loose and cut left across the field for a dozen yards to the four. Jamar Norman rushed for two before Reid scored from the one. Ryan O'Neill booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 5:48 left in the opening period.
A bad snap put the Cobras in a pit they didn't slither out of, and punted to midfield. The Devils also had issues and punted, but Twiggs clearly roughed the kicker and the Devils got a first down at the Cobra 38. Reid made a perfect pass to Robinson crossing left-to-right over the middle for 28 yards to the 11. Hartfield gained five yards on three runs before O'Neill booted a 24-yard field goal with 11:20 left in the half. The Devils led 10-0.
The Cobras, playing with more confidence, and more players, than they had earlier in the season, drove 80 yards on 18 ground plays to score on a two-yard run. The longest play was 11 yards. Twiggs County ran in for two points to cut the lead to 10-8 with 3:17 left in the first half. Neither team threatened again before the bands marched.
The Devils took the second half kickoff and quickly got to work. Two runs by Hartfield gained 12 yards. Reid rushed for seven, followed by four more by Hartfield. Reid hit Norman on a crossing pattern for 15 yards to the Cobra 24. Three plays later Reid passed ten yards to Xavier Gartrell to barely earn a first down at the 14. Hartfield rushed for five before Reid ran wide left and into the endzone for another Devil TD. O'Neill's kick gave the Devils a 17-8 advantage with 7:43 left in the third.
Both teams punted on their next possessions, with the Devils winning the kicking exchange as O'Neill and the punt coverage team pinned the Cobras to their four yard line. Big penalties on each side left the Cobras with 4th-and-22 at their 10. They faked the punt, but the resulting completed pass came up four yards short and the Devils took over at the 28.
The Devils were unable to move the pigskin, and again pinned the Cobras inside their five. The Devil Defense again did their job and forced a punt, which Elam returned 10 yards to the Cobra 30. Three plays later Elam and Reid combined for 27 yards to the five. Robinson scored from there with 8:23 left in the regular season. The kick failed, but the Devils led 23-8.
The home team proved the game wasn't over yet as their receiver got behind the Devil Defense and scored on an 80-yard pass just 12 seconds later. The Cobras' try for two failed as their runner was stopped short of the goal line. Big Red led 23-14.
Reid kept the pigskin and sprinted left and down the field for 29 yards to threaten again. The Devils got as close as the 14 before O'Neill booted a 35-yard field goal with about four minutes left.
A 36-yard pass got the Cobras close again before time ran out on their efforts. The 26-14 win is the ninth for the Devils this season, which is the most since 2012.
Reid led the Red Devil offense with eight carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He completed seven of 13 pass attempts for 95 yards. Hartfield ran 16 times for 65 yards, and caught four passes for 42 yards. For the season, Hartfield has 821 yards on 121 carries for a 6.79 per carry average, with 11 touchdowns.