Some schools never make it to the playoffs. Other teams are overjoyed to make it every other year. A few realisticly expect to make the postseason every year.
But then there's Lincoln County. We've looked through the records, especially those of the fabled Valdosta Wildcats with their national-record 800 wins. We've found only one school in Georgia making the playoffs for 29 straight years -- and if the present rules had been in place in 1973, 2002 would be 30 straight seasons for the Devils in the playoffs.
Making the playoffs is great, but it's just the start of a new effort. All 32 teams in the Class A playoffs are now undefeated in this "second season," but one loss sends you to sit at home. Our Devils know they have a very tough road between them and the Dome and then the Finals, with two strong, truly undefeated teams standing in their way: Clinch County and Landmark Christian.
But before the Devils can worry about next week, they have to beat Bremen (6-4). Very little has been easy for our Devils in 2002, and this game certainly will not be.
The Blue Devils have had a bit of a strange season, as they have beat all of their opponents from larger classes, but suffered their 4 losses to playoff bound Class A teams by a combined 118-10 score. Bremen whipped Temple 22-0 in a bad storm last Friday to earn the right to come to Lincolnton this week.
Bremen is led by college prospect wide receiver Joe Grant (5-8, 150), who runs a 4.8. In the Blue Devils 4-7 season last year, Grant caught 23 passes for nearly 400 yards. But the Devils lost their leading rusher and passer from 2001. The Georgia High School Football magazine reports in its preseason notes, "Grant also led the team with seven touchdowns, using solid routes, quickness and good hands. Six starters are back on offense and defense, including senior QB Chuck Jones, who threw for 588 yards on 46-for-102 passing. On defense, junior defensive linemen Allen Buffington, Thomas Heard and Jeremy Thompson all return to help anchor the defense. Overall, the team is working together as one in hopes of overcoming a lack of team depth and speed."
Bremen and Lincoln County have met only once, with the Red Devils winning 35-7 in the second round of the 2000 playoffs in Lincolnton.
Bremen links of interest: