Lincoln County's Red Devils soundly whipped Trion's Bulldogs 53-8 Friday night in Lincolnton to kickoff the 2006 state playoffs. The Devils will now host Eagles Landing Christian Academy.
Our Devils exploded for 41 first half points to push the contest into GHSA's mercy rules. LC ran up 246 net yards in the opening half, while holding the Bulldogs to zero. Trion's only offense came on their last drive of the game against the Devil Junior Varsity.
After exchanging turnovers midway the first half, Lincoln County drove from its 14. Brandon Barden connected with Tyler Beale for 18 yards to midfield. Darell Norman then scampered for 28, and Ricardo Norman stepped out at the 1 on a 22-yard run. Barden scooted in for the opening TD with 2:57 left in the first. Vance Tarver kicked the first of his five PATs after returning from an injury last week.
Rontae Norman returned the Devils to the endzone two minutes later when he grabbed an interception and ran in from the 31. After a Trion punt, the Devils started at their 42. Barden rushed for 12, and then Darell set off his rockets for 46 yards, scoring with 8:00 left in the half.
Jatheus Jones blocked the next Bulldog punt attempt, giving the Devils the ball at the Trion 3. Darell Norman slipped in for the score with 6:07 left in the second.
The Devil Defense forced another punt, with the offense starting from the Trion 44 with 3:46 left in the half. Barden found Rontae Norman for 5 yards, and Ricardo Norman ran for 9. Barden then connected with Alex Bradford for 25 yards to the 5. Tyler Beale scored from 5 with 2:21 left.
Lincoln's good use of their timeouts gave the Devils the ball back with 1:46 left and 55 yards to go. Austin Goldman took over at QB and found Rontae for 10, Darell for 24, and Barden for 18 to the 3. Goldman then sneaked in for the TD with 1:15 left in the half and the Devils ahead 41-0.
The Lincoln County second and third strings played the clock-running second half against the Trion varsity. A. G. Middlebrooks electrified the Lincoln faithful with a 51 yard run to the 17. Jamareon Green scored from there near the end of the third quarter. After a fumble recovery at the Lincoln 19, Alex Ellis broke loose for 81 yards and his first varsity TD. Trion managed to score with 37 seconds left, and ran in for two points for the final 53-8 margin.