MILLEDGEVILLE - On the historic site of Georgia's former capital, history was made here Friday night as the Red Devils came back from 14 down to whip the GMC Bulldogs 35-14 for Larry Campbell's 347th career win.
The victory places "Coach" alone at the top of Georgia's all-time win list, one ahead of Lincolnton native Dan Pitts' 346. Coach Campbell is now also alone at #10 on the national all-time win list.
But the game certainly didn't start off well for the Devils. After an exchange of punts, Lincoln attempted a pass from its 25, the GMC intercepted and ran the ball into the endzone from 20 yards out for the TD. On its next possession, the Devils moved backward due to a holding penalty and a bad snap. The Bulldogs took over at midfield after the Devil punt, with Jarvis Williams rushing for most of the yardage, including the last yard for the second Dog TD. The PAT kick gave GMC a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
And then, just like last year, the Devils came back. Campbell inserted sophomore Cordarryl Coppin at quarterback, and his quickness made a difference as the Devils returned to their wishbone offense and started moving the ball. Starting from their 41, Octavius Andrews carried 7 times on the drive, scoring from the 5 with 7:40 left in the half. Coppin passed to Terrance Norman for two points to cut the GMC lead to 14-8.
Norman had a big night, recovering a fumble on GMC's next possession giving the Devils the ball at the Dog 30. He then picked up 6 of his 63 rushing yards. Freshman Shawntavius Jennings, on 4th-&-5, rushed for 22 yards to setup 1st-&-goal at the 2. Andrews did the honors to tie the game with 4:15 left in the half.
But the Devils weren't done yet. After a GMC punt, the Devils started from their 12, with Jennings gaining 3. Coppin then connected with Steven Brown for 30 yards. Andrews then broke loose up the middle for 55 yards to give the Devils a 20-14 halftime lead.
The Devils kicked off to GMC to start the second half, but the Dogs fumbled the kickoff with Mustafa Richardson recovering the fumble after Taveras Stokes hit the ballcarrier. Gavin Williams made his only carry of the night due to a hip pointer, gaining 8 yards. Jennings gained 11 on two carries, and Norman gained 4. Josh Beard scored from the 2 with 9:34 left in the third. Beard then rushed for two points and a 28-14 lead.
After another punt caused by the tough Devil Defense, Lincoln drove from its 7 to the GMC 18, but failed to make a first down. The 17-play drive took nearly 8 minutes off the clock. After exchanging turnovers, Bobby Tutt recovered a GMC fumble at the Lincoln 32. Three plays later senior RB Raquino Mickens rambled for 52 yards, and then scored from 7 out. Norman's PAT kick made it 35-14 with 3:20 left in the game. The players and fans knew then it was just a matter of time for the celebration to begin.
GMC's Williams, coming into the game with 900 yards rushing in 2002 and 4,000 career yards, was held to 78 yards on 20 carries by the Devil Defense.
With a few ticks left on the clock, the Devil players drenched Coach Campbell with water. Then, as the fans counted down the final seconds, the air was filled with red & white confetti fired from souvenirs distributed by the cheerleaders. Fans, players, and the press converged on Coach Campbell, who was just very glad this record chase was finally over, and he could get back to just winning football games.
Andrews finished the night with 136 yards and 3 TDs on 19 carries.
|GMC||(1) 6:29||Troy Nelson 20 interception return||Tim Walton kick||-||-||-|
|GMC||(2) 11:18||Jarvis Williams 1 run||Walton kick||7||51||punt|
|LC||(2) 7:40||Octavius Andrews 5 run||Terrance Norman pass from Cordarryl Coppin||9||59||kickoff|
|LC||(2) 4:15||Andrews 2 run||Kick wide left||5||30||fumble recovery by Norman|
|LC||(2) 0:41||Andrews 55 run||Run failed||3||88||punt|
|LC||(3) 9:34||Josh Beard 2 run||Beard run||5||29||fumble recovery by Mustafa Richardson|
|LC||(4) 3:20||Raquino Mickens 7 run||Norman kick||4||68||kickoff|