Lincoln County certainly couldn't celebrate its hard-fought victory in Commerce very long, as this week our AP #7 Red Devils travel back up US 78 to Athens to play the 6th-ranked Spartans of Athens Academy.
The Spartans return 21 starters, including 11 on defense. The Georgia High School Football Magazine commented that experience "will be very much a team strength" as Athens Academy has had back-to-back trips to the second round of the playoffs. AA returns their leading passer (Chris Rogers), leading rusher (Beau Gilmore), leading scorer (Rogers), leading tackler (Tyler Brantley) and top defensive back (Brett Satterfield). "Rogers, Gilmore and Brantley are college prospects who can make plays."
Athens Academy is 4-0 in 2004, outscoring opponents 126-25. The Spartans currently sit atop GAVSV's Class A Power Rankings with a 102.46 mark. For comparison, Hawkinsville is fourth at 94.98 and our Devils are ninth at 86.18.
Lincoln County has certainly had its troubles at Slaughter Field, losing in 1999 and 2001. The last three meetings, including two last season, have been in our Devils' favor. We've heard that Athens Academy may have finally added visitor stands, but we recommend getting there early for the 7:30 kickoff just in case. The new entrance on US 441 makes stadium access much easier.