Homecoming is always a special night for a high school. For the last 43 seasons in Lincolnton, Homecoming has also meant a victory on Friday night. This time it was a come-from-behind 33-6 win over Hancock Central.
This year it was expected to be a tough battle, as Hancock Central was a two-point computer favorite coming into the game. Led by their outstanding quarterback Montkevious Fluellen, the Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. Other than that, it was almost all Red Devils.
Hancock Central muffed the opening kickoff but recovered the pigskin at its 25. The Bulldogs drove to the Lincoln 31 with their shifty quarterback doing most of the damage. LaKeith Lockhart snared an interception and returned it to the Bulldog 39.
The Devils managed one first down before punting back to the visitors at their 13. Fluellen scored from the nine 13 plays later. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard run by Fluellen on 3rd-&-2 near midfield. The PAT effort failed, but the Bulldogs led 6-0.
But the Red Devils knew how important this game was. MiDarious Roberts returned the kickoff 15 yards to the LC 39. Quay Hartfield gained 7 before Jamar Norman rushed for 5. Norman was handed the ball again, but this time it was a 25-yard pickup. Hartfield then went around right end and scooted into the endzone 24 yards later. Ryan O'Neill's kick gave the Devils the lead 7-6 with 8:16 left in the half.
The Bulldogs fumbled on their second play with Norman recovering at the HC 42. Norman rushed for five on 3rd-&-3 and, a few plays later, 6 on 4th-&-6, to keep the Devil drive alive. A few plays later he went across the line on the left side, waggled twice to evade defenders, and scored on an eight-yard run. The PAT kick was no good, but the Devils led 13-6 with 44 seconds left before Homecoming festivities would begin.
Hancock Central fumbled the next kickoff with Javon Reid recovering at the HC 35. Lockhart passed 10 yards to Norman to the 25. Three plays later a 47-yard field goal attempt fell just short as the half ended. The Devils led 13-6.
Lincoln County took the second half kickoff but was unable to make a first down. After a punt, Hancock also failed to make a first down and attempted to punt Jalen Wade blocked the kick with the Devils recovering at the HC 17. Norman carried to the five. After a one-yard loss, Norman scored from the six behind a wall of blockers on the right side. The PAT run failed, leaving the Devils ahead 19-6 with 7:39 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs punted to end their next possession. Hartfield broke two tackles for an 18-yard gain before a fumble ended the drive at the HC 41. A few plays later Hancock returned the favor with Marquis Leverett recovering at the LC 27 very late in the quarter.
On second down Norman went up the middle and never looked back on a 69-yard scoring run. O'Neill's kick put the Devils up 26-6 with 11:45 left in the contest.
Hancock moved near midfield on its next possession, but Norman broke up a pass attempt on fourth down at the HC 43 with 8:28 remaining.
Hartfield rushed for 17 before Roberts added six. Jayden Robinson rushed for 3 yards, as did Lockhart. Hartfield again went around the right corner for his second touchdown of the evening. O'Neill's kick was good midway the final period.
After a good kickoff return, Hancock tried a pass on 3rd-&-long, but the Devils intercepted and returned the ball to the HC 29. Freshman QB Reid ran for 23 yards, but a penalty backed the Devils up to the 25. Reid ran for a first down and then ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Norman led the rushing attack with 115 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Hartfield carried six times for 84 yards and two scores.
The win improves the Devils to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in Region 7-A subregion B.
Lincoln County will travel to Milledgeville this Friday to face Georgia Military Prep and its outstanding running back T. J. Lowe. He has rushed for over 1,100 yards already this season. Kickoff near the old state capitol will be at 7:30.
A win over the GMC Bulldogs will setup a showdown with defending state champ Aquinas in Lincolnton Halloween night to decide the top two seeds in Region 7-A subregion B. On November 7, the teams from subregion B will matchup against the corresponding seed from subregion A.
Readers of The Lincoln Journal know a lot about Red Devil football, Lincolnton, and Lincoln County. Consider the following questions and test your knowledge.
Answers are provided after the questions.
1. What do the Red Devils have in common with the fictional town of Mayberry?
2. Prior to the current Post Office, what buildings served that function in Lincolnton?
3. The same area has been used as the football field since 1922. What was it used for before then?
4. Lincolnton has changed a lot over the last fifty years. Name three things, other than church buildings, that haven't changed much.
5. In 1930, what was the primary route to Augusta?
6. Lincolnton once was home to two movie theaters and a bowling alley. Where were these located?
7. Where was the jail before the current one was built?
8. W. T. "Tutt" Dunaway started football at Lincolnton High in 1922. At what college was he a star football player?
9. Legendary stories about Dr. Weems Pennington continue to be told. "Doc" would sometimes sneak out his office's back door during the day and visit a nearby business and help their customers. Which business?
10. Where was Larry Campbell's first paycheck from after he moved to Lincolnton?
1. An old song. The Mayberry Founders' Day song and the Red Devil fight song are both based on "Our Boys Will Shine Tonight", which is believed to have originated as a Civil War song about soldiers.
Here's the Mayberry lyrics: "Mayberry'll shine tonight, Mayberry'll shine. When the moon comes up and the sun goes down, Mayberry'll shine." Here's the original lyrics: "Our boys will shine tonight. Our boys will shine. We'll shine in beauty bright all down the line. We're all dressed up tonight. That's one good sign. When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, our boys will shine." The song has been adapted many times as fight songs for high schools, colleges, and others around the world.
2. Going backwards in time: the brick building at intersection of Goshen and Peachtree; the stone-faced building on Main Street, next to Linco Place; the right-most storefront in the long brick building on the other side of Main Street, adjacent to the barber shop; the Wilkes House, which was torn down to make room for the current location of Farmers State Bank.
3. The present football field was used as a cow pasture. Dr. C. H. May allowed the school to use it for football since it was some of the flattest property nearest the school. In 1922, the high school would have been at what became known as the "green building" on the corner of Sunrise and Dallas.
4. Here's six; there are probably more: (1) Red Devil football - still winners. (2) Goldman & Wengrow. (3) City Pharmacy. (4) Spratlin's Hardware Store. (5) Lincolnton still has only three intersections with full traffic signals; the 378 & 79 signal was the last added, in the early 1960's. (6) The Lincoln Journal - the oldest continually-operating business in Lincoln County.
5. Before the direct route from Lincoln County through Evans and Martinez was developed, the shortest route was through Leah to Appling and then to Augusta. What is now an hour's ride (depending on traffic) once was an all-day effort over rutted dirt roads.
6. The Linco Theater was on Main Street, where City Pharmacy is now located. The Amuzu Theater was in the Keeter Building, the two story building at the Confederate Monument. The bowling alley was in the building on Washington Street between the traffic signal and Guillebeau Avenue; this building would later house A&M Supermarket and other businesses.
7. The jail was on Washington Street, just east of the current location of Crawford & Breazeale Drugs. Part of the foundation still stands.
8. Dunaway starred for the Mercer College Bears in 1909 and 1910. Also on the 1910 Mercer team was Homer L. Rice, later to be the Washington coach in 1922 and 1923, and a Baptist preacher. After the 1942 season, Mercer dropped football. The Bears returned to the gridiron in 2011, and earlier this year joined the Southern Conference.
9. Farmers Hardware and Furniture. Here's the story of one of "Doc's" visits to the store at told by Emory Ware on the Facebook group "I am so Lincoln County that I remember ...": "Farmers Hardware was one of Dr. Pennington's go-to places when a break was needed . He would simply slip out the back door of his office and come through the back door of the store. Doc loved to ramble about and find an interesting device or tool then go into a 10 minute discourse on its origin and potential use. And Dr. Pennington loved to help customers find an item and of course fix something that was broken, often drawing diagrams on brown paper bags to illustrate his idea of a solution and lecturing the customer on ways to make their life better if they would just heed his advice.
"The telephone company was refurbishing some equipment for a time and one of their technicians, from "out of town" came in while Doc was taking 5 . When Doc saw the man carrying a small bundle of wires he stepped forward and said "how can I help you?" What followed was a rather deep discussion on advanced technology and intricate switching mechanisms, right down Doc's alley. The technician was amazed at the depth of knowledge offered and even admitted that some of the information bordered on genius! While I was charging the items to the telephone company Doc slipped back out the door and was gone. The technician exclaimed 'Y'all better try and hang on to that guy that waited on me. He is amazing! [Well], he should'a been a doctor!"
10. During the summer of 1970, Larry Campbell was hired to work as a lifeguard at the Elijah Clark State Park swimming area. (That info came from Mrs. Mildred Fortson several years ago.)
Please email the writer (email@example.com) if you have additional information to offer on any of the topics.
Lincoln County continued its dominance over the Screaming Devils by defeating the home team 23-0 last Friday in Warren County.
The Red Devils have won the last 40 meetings with Warren County, and now lead the all-time series 58-24-1 against its most frequent opponent. The Screaming Devils' last win was 35-7 in 1971 and was the last of seven straight wins against the Red Devils.
Quay Hartfield led the Lincoln County rushing attack with 129 yards and one TD on 9 carries. Jamar Norman carried 15 times for 43 yards, and caught one pass for 35 yards and a TD.
Kickoff was right after a rain shower ended. Neither team was able to achieve a first down on their first possession and punted. Starting from his 39, David Byrne gained a first down on runs of 5 and 27. Hartfield then sprinted off the right corner for 29 yards and the first score of the night. Ryan O'Neill's PAT kick was good for a seven point lead midway the opening quarter.
The only Screaming Devils in the country put together a good drive, from their 8 to their 43 with three first downs before the Devils stopped the quarterback on third down. A 43-yard punt gave the visitors the pigskin at the LC 14.
Good runs by Hartfield and Norman picked up two first downs just before the rains hit again early in the second quarter. The drive bogged down at midfield, with O'Neill's punt being downed at the WC 4. The Devil Defense stopped Warren County, forcing a punt attempt. Their punter tried to pass, but the effort fell incomplete and the Red Devils took over at the WC 11.
Hartfield rushed for five yards, followed by a no-gain run by Norman and a five-yard run by QB LaKeith Lockhart. On 4th-&-1 at the 2, Lockhart scored with 2:42 left in the half. The PAT kick was just wide left, but the Red Devils led 13-0.
With the rain ending, the Devil Defense again played tough, not allowing a first down on Warren's next possession. Lincoln County took over near midfield after the punt. With only 89 seconds left before the bands played, Norman ran for 17 yards to the WC 35. Three plays later Lockhart hit Norman on a screen pass and Jamar rambled into the endzone. O'Neill's kick put the Devils up 20-0 at the break.
Warren County fumbled the second half kickoff with the guys in red and white recovering at the WC 20. The Red Devils gained a first down at the 10 before a fumble returned the ball to the Screaming Devils. The two teams then exchanged punts.
The Screaming Devils returned the punt to midfield, and a roughing the quarterback penalty moved Warren County to the LC 36. A 15-yard pass and a 14-yard run gave the home team 1st-&-goal at the 5. The quarterback was stopped for no gain before Norman grabbed a pass attempt and returned the pigskin about 30 yards. Unfortunately the Devils were flagged for holding on the return and had to start at their 2.
Lockhart rushed for 9 before Hartfield broke loose for 36. Lockhart added four yards to the 50. Hartfield added to his best game of the year with 40 yards down the right sideline to the 10. Four plays later O'Neill booted a 29-yard field goal with 10:46 left in the fourth quarter. Lincoln County led 23-0.
Warren County picked up two first downs on their next drive before the Devil Defense stopped them at midfield.
The Red Devils started from their 2 and managed one first down before punting back to the Screamers at the LC 48. Jalen Wade sacked the Warren County quarterback for a 12-yard loss on third down to force a punt with less than a minute left and essentially secure Lincoln County's second consecutive shutout.
The Devils improved to 4-2 with the victory. Prior to last Friday night, Lincoln County was tied with Clinch County for 18th place in the Class A Public Schools power ratings. The top 16 teams make the Class A Public Schools playoffs. Defending state champ Aquinas, winner of its last 20 games, is in 1st place in the Private Schools ratings.
This Fridays is an open date for the Red Devils. Next Friday, October 17, the Red Devils host Hancock Central in a key subregion matchup. The Bulldogs, as always loaded with good athletes, gave #1-ranked Aquinas a battle for much of last week's game. Friday night features Homecoming and Senior Recognition festivities, so be there early. The game starts at 7:30.