WASHINGTON - Fourteen points in the first three minutes gave Lincoln County a lead it would not surrender enroute to an impressive 31-6 victory over its arch-rival Washington-Wilkes here last Friday night.
The Red Devils now lead the all-time series 40-37-6. The 25-point margin is the same as in THE Game, the 2005 State Title game in Lincolnton that the Devils won 25-0. The Devil victory ends a two-game win streak by the Tigers.
The Devils improved to 4-2, and are now ranked in the AJC Top 10. More importantly, the win moves the Devils to fourth in the Class A Public Power Ratings. The top 24 teams in the Power Ratings at the end of the regular season will make the playoffs.
Kolbi Ferguson led the offense with 188 yards rushing on 24 carries with two touchdowns. Colton Willis carried 17 times for 85 yards and two scores. Keenon Lampkin ran five time for 60 yards, and completed 1 of 3 pass attempts for 66 yards. Darrien "Tank" Elder caught the 66-yard pass that setup the important first touchdown. As a team, the Devils totalled 353 yards from scrimmage.
The Tigers kicked off to the Red Devils to start the game, with the Devils fumbling at the LC 30. The Devils recovered that miscue but issues continued. Two illegal procedure calls backed the Devils up to their 20. Tevin Gartrell rushed for eight before a W-W offsides flag added five. Two plays later, Lampkin connected with Elder near the left sideline and the speedster was caught just shy of the goalline. Ferguson scored from the one for the first score of the night. J.T. Bundrick booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 10:30 left in the opening quarter.
A 25-yard pass moved the Tigers to their 33. On the next play, Antavious Brown pounded the Tiger rusher, knocking the pigskin loose. Ferguson picked up the ball and returned the fumble six yards to the Tiger 24. Willis took the direct snap, got a good block, and went untouched into the end zone for a 13-point lead. Bundrick kicked the PAT; the Devils led 14-0 with 9:01 left in the opening period.
The Tigers fumbled on their next offensive play but recovered for a four-yard loss. Kevon Franklin grabbed an interception and returned five yards to the LC 41. The Devils earned one first down on the ground before punting to the Tigers.
Runs of 27, 28, and 16 yards moved the home team to the LC 15 before the Devil Defense ended the drive on downs.
Willis rushed for 12 yards to the LC 23 as the first quarter ended. Lampkin ran for 13 to the 38. After a penalty, Lampkin scurried for 18, with a personal foul penalty tacking on another 15 to the WW 29. Five plays later WIllis ran over the right side for a four-yard touchdown. The PAT kick gave the Devils a surprising 21-0 lead with 7:35 left in the second quarter.
The Devil Defense forced a punt to end the next Tiger possession. The Devils drove 10 plays to the WW 20 but a 37-yard field goal attempt went wide right. A sack of the Tigers ended the first half with the Devils up 21-0.
The Tigers got the pigskin first to start the second half, but three plays gained zero yards.
Franklin returned the Tiger punt 23 yards to the WW 44. A 10-yard run by Ferguson moved the Devils to the WW 19. Bundrick booted a 39-yard field goal with 8:04 left in the third to extend the Devils' lead to 24-0.
The Tigers earned two first downs before a lost fumble at the LC 41 gave the ball back to the Devils. Lincoln County made one first down before punting back to Tigers at the WW 12. Eight plays later the Tigers scored on a 40-yard pass. The PAT pass failed, leaving the Devils up 24-6 with 10:17 to play.
Brown returned the kickoff about 50 yards, but a holding flag backed the Devils to the LC 20. Six plays later Lampkin slanted right for 24 yards to the WW 40. Two plays later Ferguson scored on a 34-yard run with 5:49 left. The PAT kick put the Devils up 31-6.
The Tigers turned the ball over on downs at the WW 41. Lincoln County was threatening to score again as the final horn sounded.
The Red Devils take a week off before heading to Greensboro October 19 to take on the Greene County Tigers. Kickoff on their artificial turf is set for 7:30. Go DEVILS!