Lincoln County's Red Devils shutout previously-undefeated First Presbyterian Day of Macon 10-0 at Buddy Bufford Field last Friday night.
Head coach Kevin Banks and assistants made several changes to prepare for the game. Offensively the Devils changed from a Wing-T attack to a Pro set to stretch the defense.
The Devil Defense was more aggressive, sacking the dangerous Viking QB several times. The Devil D played its best game in years, including some of the hardest hits the locals have witnessed in that time.
This victory is a big win for the program as it could help the Devils earn a playoff spot come November.
Jamar Norman led the Devil rushing attack with 131 yards on 12 carries with one TD. LaKeith Lockhart kept the Devil offense moving with 89 yards on the ground and 26 yards through the air.
The Viking quarterback ran for 104 yards on 16 carries and completed 11 of 18 passes for 101 yards, but was kept out of the end zone at Larry Campbell Stadium.
Both sides had concerns about some of the officiating calls (and no-calls), but by the end of the game the penalties had evened out. Both teams had 10 flags walked off against them - for 96 yards against LC and 90 yards against FPD.
Both teams punted on their first two possessions. Big Red took over on its 12 after a clipping penalty nullified a good return by Norman. Norman rushed for 17 before breaking through the line for 47 yards to the Viking 24. On fourth down, Ryan O'Neill booted a 36-yard field goal to give the Devils a 3-0 lead with 10:41 left in the second quarter.
A 28-yard run by the Viking QB took the visitors into Devil territory. A fumble with 8:46 left in the half was recovered by Jalen Wade at the LC 38. Two runs by Lockhart (6 and 4 yards) and two by Norman (6 and 14) earned the Devils a first down at the FPD 31. Three plays later Lockhart tossed to Norman for a first down at the 15. An illegal procedure call backed the Devils up five before David Byrne had a hard run for 8 yards. Norman then went down the right side for the touchdown with 2:49 left before the bands marched. Lincoln County, double-digit underdogs going into the game, now led 10-0 after O'Neill's PAT.
The Vikings, aided by an interference penalty, drove to the LC 36 before the drive fizzled. Wade and Marquis Leverett led the Devil Defense to stop the Vikings on downs at the LC 40. A knee ended the half.
First Presbyterian took the second half kickoff but failed to make a first down thanks to pressure by Devon Holloway and Jesse Parks on 3rd-and-10. The Devils were penalized for roughing the punter, giving FPD a first down at the 50. The FPD QB ran for 20 yards before Lockhart stripped and recovered the pigskin at the LC 30.
The home team picked up two first downs to the FPD 43. On third down, Lockhart and Norman almost connected for 30 yards. The Devils punted, as did the Vikings on their next short possession. The Devils failed to make a first down, and attempted to punt from around the 35. The Vikings converged on Ryan O'Neill, keeping the punter from getting the kick away. The Vikings started their incursion at the LC 31. A third-down pass gained 20 yards for first down at the LC 20 before a third-down pass attempt was intercepted by Norman at the LC 3 and returned to the LC 35.
The Devils took over 4 minutes off the clock before punting back to FPD midway the fourth quarter. FPD started at their 22 and drove 13 plays before the Devils stopped the Vikings on downs at the LC 12. A 29-yard field goal attempt was no gouund.
The Devils ran out the final 88 seconds to preserve the huge win and improve their record to 3-2.
This Friday Lincoln County travels to Warren County to take on the Screaming Devils. This meeting with the Red Devils' most frequent opponent will kickoff at 7:30. They are coached by former Red Devil star Cherard Freeman and have defeated Harlem and Glascock County this year.
Lincoln County's Red Devils bounced back from two tough losses to whip Twiggs County 41-13 last Friday night in Jeffersonville.
Jamar Norman led the offensive charge with 11 carries for 47 yards and a TD, a 38-yard reception, a 26-yard pass, and a 55-yard punt return for TD.
LaKeith Lockhart returned from injury to complete three of seven pass attempts for 73 yards. Freshman Jayden Robinson led the ground attack with 70 yards on eight attempts.
The Cobras struck first by returning the opening kickoff 80 yards after an awkward start that threw off the coverage timing. The PAT run failed.
After a Red Devil punt, Twiggs got stopped at its 41 by the Devil Defense. A 12-yard run by Robinson and a 15-yard pass from Lockhart to Midarious Roberts put LC at the 30. Quay Hartfield ran for six and caught a 20-yard pass for a first down at the 6. Ryan O'Neill booted a 22-yard field goal with 5:05 left in the first to reduce the Cobra lead to 6-3.
After forcing a Cobra punt, good runs by Norman and Robinson plus a facemask penalty setup a 6-yard scoring run by Norman. O'Neill's kick gave the Devils a 10-6 lead with 6:50 left in the opening period.
Lincoln County held strong on the next Twiggs possession for a three-and-out. Norman grabbed the punt at the LC 45 and went left downfield behind a wall of blocking Red Devils. The PAT kick put the Devils up 17-6 with 5:35 left before the bands hit the field.
After again stopping the Cobras, the Devils had two good pass gains nullified by yellow flags. The third time was the charm, as Lockhart connected with Norman for 38 yards. Lockhart then rushed for 15 and 8 yards to setup a 31-yard field goal by O'Neill. The Devils led 20-6 at the half.
The Devils took over on their 21 after the second half kickoff. Robinson ran three times for 21 yards before Norman took the handoff from Lockhart and passed 26 yards to Xavier Gartrell at the Twiggs 12. Norman then rushed in from the 12 with about 8 minutes left in the third. O'Neill was again good on the one-point kick for a 27-6 Lincoln County lead.
After an exchange of possessions, the Devils stopped the Cobras to force another punt. Javon Reid caught the pigskin near midfield and rambled for 50 yards to the Twiggs 5. Penalties moved the ball back three yards. Hartfield then scored from the eight with 3///49 left in the third. With the PAT, Lincoln County led 34-6.
Big Red recovered a fumble on the Cobra's next snap from center. Two plays later David Byrne rushed 26 yards for the final Red Devil TD of the night. O'Neill made it 7 out of 7 on the night with his fifth PAT kick. The visitors led 41-6 with 2:19 left in the third.
The final quarter was played under GHSA's mercy rules. Against the Devil substitutes the Cobras scored on a nine-yard run setup by two long passes. The kick provided the final 41-13 margin.
This week the Red Devils, now 2-2, host First Presbyterian Day School of Macon. The Vikings are 3-0 after whipping GMC 62-21 last Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 Friday.