Exciting, nail-biting, and a bit ugly at times, but last Friday night was also an important 17-14 win over Washington-Wilkes here on live TV.
The winless Tigers came ready to play and kept the Devils' out of the endzone for most of the game. W-W took a 14-7 lead midway the first, and made that lead stand until late in the fourth.
QB Javon Reid rushed 22 times for 167 yards and one touchdown. He completed four of ten pass attempts for 70 yards and a score. Quay Hartfield was nursing an injury but still carried 29 times for 115 yards. Hartfield had one catch, but it was an important one as the 14-yard screen pass tied the game. In total yards, the Devils led 355-112.
Jayden Robinson and Keyshawn Martin led the Devil Defense that again played a great game and all but shutting down the Tiger offense after the first quarter. In the second half, W-W managed only 23 yards and one first down.
The win gives the Red Devils a 38-35-6 record in the all-time series dating back to 1922. The Devils first took the series lead in 2008.
This was the third overtime game between the Devils and these Tigers, with LC winning each time. The previous games decided in overtime were in 1981 (35-21) and 2009 (10-7), with both at Washington.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and gained one first down before Quendashious Hogan went down the left side untouched for 55 yards and the endzone. The PAT kick by Jose Olalde put the Tigers up 7-0 with 10:43 left in the first.
The Devils came right back. Reid connected with Xavier Gartrell on a good pass/catch/run for 26 yards to the Tiger 46. Hartfield ran for four followed by Reid on the ground for four to the W-W 38. Reid then bootlegged the pigskin and ran down the left side to the endzone 38 yards later. William LeRoy's kick tied the game with 8:27 left in the opening quarter.
The Tigers returned the next kickoff about 60 yards. The Tigers then called Hogan's number 22 on five straight plays - 4, 4, 1, 3, and the final 2 for a touchdown. The PAT kick with 5:39 left in the first put the Tigers back in the lead, 14-7. The fourteen points were the most the Tigers had scored in a game in 2016.
The Devils muffed the next kickoff, giving the Tigers another possession at the LC 31. The Devil Defense stopped the drive on downs. The Devils didn't manage but two yards on their possession and punted to the W-W 38.
After the Tigers punted, the Devils started from their 24 and ran off 12 plays with Reid and Hartfield on the ground. On 4th-&-goal inside the one, the Devils fumbled while stretching for the touchdown. The Tigers recovered at the five.
The strong Tiger punter was called into action again and backed the Devils up to their 45. A good run by Reid was shortened due to a holding penalty. Hartfield broke three tackles on a great run for 24 yards to the Tiger 21. The Tigers managed to stop the drive at the 16.
The Devil Defense again stopped the Tigers on their next try. The Devils picked up one first down before the half ended with W-W leading 14-7.
Lincoln County took the second half kickoff and drove 70 yards on 12 plays before missing a 25-yard field goal attempt midway the quarter.
The Tigers picked up one first down before Quindarious Wright grabbed a Tiger pass and returned the pigskin 24 yards to the Tiger 27. The drive gained nothing, and a punt pushed the Tigers back to their 15.
The Devil Defense again did its job, and forced a punt. The Tigers boomed a 53-yard punt to the LC 25. Reid passed 25 yards to Midarious Roberts on a wide-receiver screen for a first down at the W-W 36.
Hartfield rushed for nine before the Devils faced 4th-&-4 at the 30. Reid rushed for four for the first down on a play where it looked like he would be sacked for a big loss. Hartfield then gained 12 on two rushes to the 14. Reid then found Hartfield on a screen pass on the left side. Hartfield scored untouched at the pylon with 5:06 left in the game. LeRoy's kick tied the game at 14-all.
The Tigers mishandled the kickoff to start at their 5. Three runs gained but three yards and the Tigers punted. The Devils also were unable to gain ten and punted back to the Tigers at their 5. W-W threw long but Gartrell intercepted at the W-W 46.
Three passes fell incomplete and the Devils punted. The Tigers then tried one run before regulation ended with the game tied 14-14.
The Devils won the overtime toss and opted to go last. Starting at the 15, Hogan rushed for six before being stopped for no gain on the next play. Antonio Williams sacked the Tiger QB for an 11-yard loss. The Tigers decided to try a 37-yard field goal that was wide and short.
From the 15, Wright rushed for three yards. Reid then ran for 3 before Hartfield gained one. Needing three yards for a first down, the Devils needed only a field goal for the win. LeRoy booted the 25-yard field goal to complete the comeback win over the Devils' arch-rival.
The Devils improve to 3-1-1 on the season, and most importantly 1-0 in 7-A subregion B. The Tigers fall to 0-5 and 0-1. Lincoln County is ranked #6 in the AJC Class A Public ranking.
This Friday the Red Devils welcome Hancock Central for Homecoming. The Bulldogs are improved this year with wins over Putnam County, Wilkinson County, and Hephzibah. They are coming off a tough loss to Aquinas, so the Bulldogs will be looking to get their season back on track. Kickoff is slated for 7:30. The new Homecoming Queen will be crowned at the half.