Devils Score Twice in Fourth to Defeat Greene 31-21, Lead Region

October 22, 2022

(LINCOLNTON) The Red Devils won their 50th Homecoming game since 1972 and took sole possession of first place in their region with a 31-21 victory over Greene County here last Friday night. A 14-point halftime lead disappeared in the third, but the Devils scored ten in the final quarter for the win.

Semaj Jenkins led the rushers with eight tries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Trey Huff completed five of nine pass attempts for 130 yards with one interception and one touchdown. Huff rushed ten times for 89 yards and a TD. Mekhi Wade ran a dozen times for 66 yards, and had one reception for 44 yards. Kelby Glaze ran four times for 29 yards and a score. Franklin Brown caught four passes for 86 yards and one touchdown. Huff and Wade each also intercepted a pass.

Lincoln County totaled 423 yards and 22 first downs on 49 offensive plays. The Tigers gained 286 yards and 11 first downs on 45 plays.

The Red Devils found themselves in a hole early as their first two offensive plays lost seven yards. Illegal procedure created a 3rd-&-22 at the LC 7. A defensive holding call gained ten. Huff then ran left for 18 yards to the LC 35. Jenkins took off down the right side for a long touchdown, but a yellow hanky for holding at the GC 45 brought the pigskin back to the LC 45. Apparently Jenkins had caught his breath because he ran 34 yards on the next play. Wade ran left for 16 yards to the GC 5. Brown rushed for two before the Tigers jumped offsides for another couple yards. Jenkins took the handoff and went right of center for the touchdown. Abraham Crawford booted the PAT with 8:22 left in the opening quarter. LC led 7-0.

The Tigers struck fast, completing a 47-yard pass to their star receiver. With a first down at the LC 24, Greene County managed only six yards and turned the ball over on downs at the LC 18. The Devils kept the ball on the ground, gaining 67 yards to reach the GC 15. Brown ran untouched in the end zone, but a holding penalty put the ball back at the 24. Huff ran for 24 yards and a touchdown. The score came with 44 seconds left in the quarter. Crawford added the PAT for a 14-0 advantage.

Greene County gained two first downs before a bad snap cost 12 yards and led to a punt from the GC 40. The Devils moved back down the field to reach the GC 34. Brown again ran to the end zone for a score, but the officials called holding to push the Devils back to the 45. On 4th-&-13, the Devils punted to the GC 17. The Tiger QB handed off to a running back that then threw to their star receiver for 51 yards. The Devil defender fell down at the goal line on the next play, allowing the Tiger receiver to catch a 32-yard touchdown pass. The extra point closed the gap to 14-7 with 3:53 left in the half.

The Devils picked up a first down on Jenkins' rushing, but punted to the GC 40. The Tigers went back to the air on first down, but Huff made a diving catch for an interception at the LC 17. Huff then found Wade open, with the freshman running by the Devil bench for 44 yards to the GC 39. Wade rushed for four before Huff connected with Brown finally getting a touchdown that would stand. The 35-yard pass came with 1:22 left before the Homecoming Court walked across the field. The PAT put the Devils up 21-7 at the half.

The Tigers took the second-half kickoff and changed their attack to favor their ground game. Aided by an interference penalty, the visitors marched down the field and scored on a nine-yard quarterback scramble. With just under seven minutes left in the third, the game had tightened to 21-14.

Greene's kicker scuffed the kick and recovered the ball at the GC 46. The Tigers rushed for 14 with LC penalized for 15 yards for illegal participation when a Devil lost his helmet but continued to participate in the play. Five rushing plays reached the 10 before the Tigers scored on a 10-yard pass with 3:40 left in the third. The extra point knotted the game at 21.

A ten-yard pass from Huff to Brown brought the Devils to midfield. An interference infraction moved the pigskin to the GC 36. Huff pulled the ball away from the running back when he was going to be tackled and ran eight yards to the 28. A facemask flag moved the scrimmage line to the 14. The Tigers intercepted at the 2 to end the scoring threat.

Two rushes and passing helped the Tigers escape from the shadow of their goal line. Huff saved a touchdown by tackling the Tiger receiver at midfield. R. J. Crite sacked the quarterback for an eight-yard loss to the GC 44. On the next play, Huff tipped the ball on pass defense with Wade grabbing the interception and returning 30 yards to midfield.

Three plays later Huff found Brown for 33 yards to the GC 27. Huff ran for seven and then a Tiger offsides call gave the Devils a first down at the 15. Glaze ran for 10. Wade rushed for one, Huff ran for two, and the Devils lost one. On 4th-&-goal at the 3, Crawford booted a 20-yard field goal. The Devils were back in the lead, 24-21 with 4:03 remaining.

The Tigers went back to to their ground game, but three attempts gained only one yard. A fourth down pass came up two yards short, and the Devils took over at the GC 43 with just under two minutes remaining.

Wade went left for 13 yards. Huff kept the ball for 11 to the 19. Glaze ran left and broke a tackle to gain 15 yards to the 4. Glaze went back to the left and scored on the next play. Crawford's PAT gave the Devils a commanding 31-21 lead with 31 seconds left.

A sack by Christian Elam lost 10 yards to end the important game. The Devils won 31-21 to be alone at the top of the region standings.

A win Friday will clinch the Region 8-A Division II championship for Lincoln County, their first region title since 2012. One victory in their final two games guarantees at least a tie for the top spot in the region, as the Devils own the tie-breaker against Greene County or Washington-Wilkes. W-W handed Aquinas its second region loss, 34-26 last Friday. Greene still must face W-W and Aquinas.

The Red Devils will travel to Warren County this Friday to take on the Screaming Devils. Teams from Warrenton have been the Devils' most frequent opponents in the past century, beginning with a 1925 game. The 2022 meeting will be the 90th, with the Devils leading the series 62-25-1. Warren County, under former Devil Cherard Freeman, was the only team in the past half-century to defeat the Red Devils at Homecoming with a 28-20 win in 2018. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.