Lincoln County's Red Devils gave the top-ranked Clinch County Panthers all they wanted and more for much of the first three quarters, but Clinch's manpower advantage took its toll in the fourth quarter as the Panthers scored 28 second half points to win 28-14 and move on to the Georgia Dome's semifinals.
The Devils took the lead with less than a minute left in the first half when Gavin Williams scored from the 2. LCHS then withstood a 75-yard kickoff return and 3 Panther plays to keep that 6-0 lead.
Clinch scored midway the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead, but Williams answered on the Devils next possession with a 43 yard run; Williams finished the season with 1,001 yards unofficially.
Clinch County then showed why they are undefeated, with touchdown runs of 46, 45, and 59 to end the Red Devils season. Clinch will play the Hawkinsville Red Devils Friday morning at 9:00, with the winner hosting the Class A state championship game.
Our Red Devils can certainly hold their heads high after the 2002 season. In addition to Larry Campbell passing Dan Pitts as Georgia's all-time winningest football coach, Lincoln County extended its record of 29 consecutive playoff seasons. With a final record of 8-5, 2002 becomes the 29th time in the last 30 years that LCHS has won at least 8 games in a season. All five losses came to teams in the playoffs, with 3 of those to quarterfinal teams (Clinch, Commerce, and Twiggs County).
All of this was accomplished in what most considered to be a rebuilding year. Many key players return for 2003, so the future looks bright for our Red Devils.
Congratulations on another successful season!!!