In a Class A Top Ten matchup, our #7 Red Devils defeated the #6 Athens Academy Spartans 14-9 Friday night.
Unfortunately the injury bug bit Lincoln County twice early in the game. Running back Gavin Williams suffered a broken rib after some of his best running of the year. Tackle/guard Alex Wideman was hit in the knee with a helmet on the game's two play. According to The Augusta Chronicle, both senior players are out indefinitely.
Sophomore Darrell Norman was the offensive star, with 14 carries for 83 yards, and a 15-yard TD pass from Cord Coppin. Coppin gained 60 yards on 11 carries, and completed 4 of 11 passes for 59 yards.
Big Red led in possession time 28:05 to 19:55. Total yardage saw LC ahead 252-110. Yet with that domination, Lincoln twice was stopped inside the Spartan 10 with no points.
The Spartan QB seemed unstoppable during the first Athens Academy possession, driving the Spartans to the LC 12. AA completed a pass, but Taveras Stokes took the ball away from the receiver for a fumble recovery at the LC 5 to end the threat. Lincoln picked up 30 yards before being forced to punt.
The Spartans picked up two first downs before the Devil Defense stiffened. The big AA kicker, who was making 60-yard field goals in warm-ups, booted a 44-yard field goal for a 3-0 Spartan lead with 10:55 left in the first half.
Lincoln moved into Spartan territory before punting to the AA 16. One play lost 8 yards before the Spartan QB tried to pass. Brandon Reed grabbed the ball and ran the interception 12 yards into the endzone for a 6-3 Lincoln County lead.
Big Red took over at the AA 46 after a short Spartan punt. Coppin picked up good yards in the air and on the ground until the Devils faced 4th-&-goal at the 15 thanks to a personal foul flag at the 2-inch line. Coppin found Norman open with good blocking for a touchdown with 58 seconds left in the half.
Late in the third quarter, Deonte Norman made one of his two fumble recoveries at the AA 14. Coppin gained 11 on the ground, but three plays gained only one year. On 4th-&-goal at the 2. Darrell Norman was struggling for the endzone when an official was inadvertently caught in the action and the tackle. Athens Academy took over and drove to midfield. Facing 4th-&-1 at the LC 46, the Spartan back broke through for 46 and a touchdown to close the gap to 14-9. The PAT pass attempt failed with 8:35 left in the game.
Strange things seem to happen when Lincoln County plays at Athens Academy, and this game was no different. First Coppin was intercepted for only the second time in 2004, with AA taking over at their 41 with 4:12 left. Two plays later Deonte Norman with help from other Devil Defenders recovered one of 4 Spartan fumbles lost during the game. But wait a minute -- Lincoln fumbled it right back with 2:21 left. The Devils sacked the QB for a 15-yard loss, and AA turned the ball over on downs with 1:15 left. Lincoln ran out the clock for their 4th win of 2004. Athens Academy suffered their first loss and lowest points scored of this season.