McCORMICK, SC - Another week of practice and a different opponent meant a very different outcome for the Lincoln County Red Devils last Friday night.
LCHS scored early and often en route to a 42-8 victory over the McCormick Chiefs. The win evened the Devils' 2018 record at 1-1.
The game, a renewal of Lincolnton's oldest rivalry, was played before a large contingent of Devil fans. Attendance is often down after a loss, but it was standing-room-only on the Lincoln County side last Friday in McCormick.
Dawayne Wright gained 67 yards on six runs with one touchdown, and caught a 44-yard touchdown pass. Kevon Franklin rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Fullback Kolbi Ferguson scored twice on three carries with 44 yards.
Quarterback Monquavious Leverett ruched six times for 28 yards, and threw the 44-yard TD pass with one other incompletion.
Lincoln County took the opening kickoff and ran the pigskin down the field in nine plays. Leverett and Ferguson had 14-yard gains, with Wright gaining 17 to help overcome a holding flag. Tevin Gartrell ran for eight before Ferguson scored up the middle from the six about three minutes into the game. Lane Tuten booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
The Devil Defense, with help from a penalty, stopped the Chiefs and forced a punt that rolled to the M 44. Leverett found Wright open deep for the touchdown with 6:38 left in the first. The PAT put the Devils up 14-0.
The Chiefs picked up a first down but again punted. Franklin returned the kick 37 yards to the M 18. Two penalties stymied the drive, forcing a punt to the M 5. The undermanned McCormick squad passed their way to midfield before the Devil Defense stopped the advance.
After the punt, Big Red started from its 25 and advanced on two runs by Wright that netted 31 yards. Gartrell ran for 11 and Franklin a dozen to setup a 9-yard touchdown run by Gartrell. Tuten's extra point kick gave the Devils a 21-0 lead midway the second quarter.
A good kickoff return started the Chiefs in prime field position. They drove inside the LC 20 before Colton Willis caught the Chief QB for a loss on fourth down to end the threat.
The Devils went right back to work. Gartrell had back-to-back 10-yard runs. Wright gained 11 yards to the M 16. On the next play, his number was called again for 14 yards. He then almost walked through the line for the touchdown. The Devils led 28-0 at the half.
Franklin caught one of the Chief passes as well, ending McCormick's first possession of the second half and returning the ball 33 yards to the 17. The junior gained 11 yards on first down before scoring from the six. The Devils led 35-0 with 9:39 remaining in the third.
Another McCormick drive ended in another punt. Ferguson scored on a 24-yard gallop with 6:25 left in the third to close out Devil scoring. Lincoln County led 42-0.
With Devil substitutes seeing playing time and thhe clock running, the Chiefs scored on a seven-yard run with with 5:23 left in the game. A PAT run added two points to what would be the final score, 42-8.
For those curious, Abbeville whipped Newberry 49-0. Newberry is a AAA team that went 11-2 last year.
The Red Devils are open this Friday before traveling to Macon September 7 for their first meeting ever with Tattnall Square Academy. The private school Trojans moved from GISA a few years ago, and are the Devils' Region 7-A cross-over game this year. Their campus and stadium are not far from the other Macon schools the Devils have played recently - First Presbyterian and Stratford Academy. The pigskin will fly at 7:30 next Friday. Go Devils!