MILLEDGEVILLE - Lincoln County scored three touchdowns in the second half to defeat GMC Prep 28-14 in division play here last Friday night. Kolbi Ferguson rushed for 161 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Devils.
The Devils improved to 3-5 with a tough game this Friday in Sparta. Hancock Central is 5-3, with two of their losses by eight points. The other was to Greene County, which won the Region 7-AA Division B championship last Friday with a 36-28 win over previously-undefeated Aquinas.
The Red Devils look to finish sixth in Division B and host winless Twiggs County to end the regular season in its "play-in" game November 2.
Lincoln County is currently 27th in the Class A Public Power Ratings. The top 24 teams at the end of the regular season make the playoffs.
The Devils changed up their offense with sophomore Kenon Lampkin starting at quarterback and Monquavious Leverett available for other offensive duties. Lampkin completed a 68-yard pass to Leverett, and Leverett completed a 50-yard pass to Kevon Franklin. Leverett rushed seven times for 18 yards. Tavin Gartrell carried nine times for 42 yards. The Devils totaled 351 yards in the game, nearly doubling GMC's 185.
An interception ended the Devils' first possession at the GMC 26. The Bulldogs chose not to punt when facing a 4th-&-4 at their 30, and the Devil Defense forced the runner back five yards. Gartrell rushed for six yards, followed by eight- and six-yard runs by Leverett to reach the GMC 6. Ferguson rushed for four and Leverett then one. Ferguson then took the handoff and slanted just left of center into the endzone. With Lane Tuten's PAT kick, the Devils led 7-0 with 5:43 to go in the first quarter.
The Devils forced a Bulldog punt, which rolled to the LC 21. Lampkin hit Leverett deep over the defenders for 68 yards to the GMC 11. A play later, the pigskin popped loose with the home team recovering at its three. A 31-yard run broke the Dogs out of their hole before the Devils forced a punt from the GMC 48.
LCHS earned one first down before another fumble gave the Bulldogs the ball in good field position. The Devil Defense forced a 34-yard field goal attempt that went wide right.
The Devils came up short when gambling on 4th-&-4 at their own 26. A personal foul penalty cost the Devils another 15 and giving the Bulldogs the ball at the LC 14. After a run gained nothing, GMC scored on a 14-yard toss. The game was tied at 7-all with 1:14 left in the half.
A 50-yard pass from Leverett to Franklin was stopped at the GMC 2. Time ran out before the Devils could capitalize on the big play, leaving the game knotted at halftime.
The Devils forced GMC to punt on its inaugural second half possession. Ferguson led the Devils down the gridiron with six carries for 53 yards, including 33 on the last run to the GMC 1. A miscue cost three yards before Ferguson scored from the four. The PAT kick failed, but the Devils led 13-7 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.
The Devil Defense again contained the Bulldogs allowing the offense to take over at midfield. Ferguson ran for 23 followed by Gartrell for 6. Ferguson then rambled for 21 to paydirt. The PAT kick put the Devils up 20-7 with 2:46 left in the third.
GMC scored on a 13-yard run with 10:14 left in the game to close the gap to a touchdown, 20-14.
But this night the Devils were allowing no comebacks. From their 30, it was Ferguson for 4, then 38 big yards, then 19, two, three, and the final 4 with about 8 minutes remaining. Gartrell ran for two points for a 28-14 lead.
GMC drove on their next possession, reaching a first down on the LC 7. On third down Franklin intercepted at the LC 11 with 3:07 remaining. The Devils used up a minute before punting back to GMC. The Devil Defense contained the Bulldogs final efforts to secure the 28-14 victory.
Kickoff in Sparta is slated for 7:30 Friday. Go Devils!