Lincoln County's Red Devils will host the Mt. Zion Eagles this Friday as the Class A Public football playoffs start after a week off. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00. Fans are encouraged to be at Buddy Bufford Field early.
Mt. Zion is one of five high schools in the Carroll County school system. Local fans are most familiar with Bowdon from that district along Georgia's western state line. Mt. Zion has never met our Devils on the gridiron.
The Eagles are 7-3 and primarily run the ball with 222 yards per game and 23 rushing TDs. Passing adds 65 yards a game for a total offense of nearly 300 yards a game. They will be a tough test for the Red Devil Defense.
Jace Jordan (#21) has averaged nearly eight yards a carry enroute to gaining 1,068 yards on the season. The junior has also caught 18 passes for 222 yards. He's scored 14 touchdowns this season.
Richard Farley (#23), another junior, has a 6.5 average for 811 yards and 6 endzone trips. Quarterback Jordan Akin (#2) has completed over half his passes (56 of 109) for 654 yards and four touchdowns. The junior has been intercepted three times. Mozell Anderson (#51) leads the Eagle defense with 78 solo tackles and 30 assists.
Mt. Zion's losses were to three playoff teams: Mount Paran Christian and Christian Heritage from Georgia, and Randolph County from Alabama. MPC is 9-1 and Randolph is 12-0.
The Eagles are coached by Keith Holloway, who is 25-17 in his four-year head coaching career (all at Mt. Zion). Under Holloway, the Eagles have had winning seasons three of the last four seasons. Prior to him, they had not had a winning season in 15 years.
The Red Devils will be looking for their first playoff win since 2012. They barely missed upsetting Charlton County in the first round last year, losing in overtime 23-22 in Folkston.
The Devils' victory overTwiggs County two weeks ago marked a milestone for Lincoln County. Since Lincoln County High was formed by combining Lincolnton High and Westside High in 1970, the football team has won 500 games with 100 losses and 4 ties. That's a winning percentage of 0.831, or nearly 11 wins per season over a 46-year stretch. Those 46 include the final two seasons under Thomas Bunch, 42 under Larry Campbell, and the first two under Kevin Banks.
The all-time record for the program, dating back to 1922, is 730-257-23 for a 0.734 winning percentage. Local teams have outscored opponents 23,086 to 9,506, for an average game of 23-9. Opponents have been shutout 325 times, compared to only 104 for the local teams.
The nine wins this season mark the eleventh time in the last 13 years, and the 37th time in the last 42 years, that the Devils have won at least nine games in a year.
Go Devils -- Pluck the Eagles! The pigskin flies at 7:00 Friday in Larry Campbell Stadium.