The Red Devils' 2015 season came to an end here last Friday night in a 10-7 loss to Mt. Zion. Lincoln County finishes the year at 9-2, its best since 2012.
Looking to 2016, the Red Devils will return most of their team. The Class A landscape looks to be changed significantly with larger schools like Washington-Wilkes and Greene County added. Region assignments will be announced in December, with plans finalized in January. Class A will remain split between public and private schools. Playoffs will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams in each group.
The Devils outgained Mt. Zion 249-151 but three turnovers and two missed field goals led to their exiting the playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive year.
Quay Hartfield led the Devil offense Friday with 123 rushing yards on 22 carries. Javon Reid rushed nine times for 73 yards. Reid completed two of seven pass attempts for 16 yards and two interceptions.
For the season, Hartfield ran 143 times for 944 yards and a dozen touchdowns. Jamal Norman carried 97 times for 596 yards and six TDs. Reid completed 43 of 72 pass attempts for 536 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Parks caught eight passes for 161 and Midarius Roberts caught six for 158; both had two receiving touchdowns.
The first-round playoff match-up started off well for the Devils as Midarious Roberts returned the opening kickoff 23 yards. A fumble at midfield was returned by the Eagles to the LC 17 but an illegal block gave Mt. Vernon the pigskin at the LC 42. Three plans gained no yards and the Eagles punted.
The Devils began at their eight with Hartfield breaking lose for 37 yards up the middle to the Eagle 47. The drive was stopped on downs at the 41.
Keyshawn Martin sacked the Eagle quarterback on fourth down at midfield to end the next Eagle effort. The two teams exchanged punts as neither defense was giving up much.
The Devils took over at their 31 and Hartfield had another good run of 24 yards. He broke two tackles and spun around once to reach the Eagle 42. Tydarius Elam rushed for five before Reid gained eight on the ground. The drive ended when Mt. Zion intercepted at their two.
The Devil Defense again did its job to force one of seven Eagle punts in the game. The Devils started at their 46 and earned two first downs to the 22. Three plays left the Devils a yard short of a first down at the 13. A 30-yard field goal attempt went wide left with 2:28 left in the half.
A 31-yard pass and a 19-yard run moved the Eagles to the LC 7 before two passes fell incomplete. A 24-yard field goal was good with seven seconds left in the second quarter. Mt. Zion led 3-0 at the half.
The Devil Defense forced a punt on the Eagles' first possession of the second half. Big Red took over at the Eagle 48. Five-yard runs by Hartfield and Reid gained a first down at the 35. Three plays later an interception ended the threat.
Each team punted on their next possessions, but the Eagles muffed the Devil punt with David Byrne recovering at the Eagle 30. Hartfield rushed for 11 to the 19, followed by a 4-yard rush by him. He then ran for eight for 1st-and-goal at the 7. Reid rushed for three, followed by a 1-yard run by Norman and a 2-yard run by Hartfield. On 4th-and-goal at the 1, Hartfield scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Ryan O'Neill's PAT kick gave the Devils a 7-3 lead.
Unfortunately the joy on the Devil side of Larry Campbell Stadium was short-lived. The Eagles broke loose on the kickoff return before the Devils knocked the returner out-of-bounds around the LC 30. A penalty pushed the Eagles back to the LC 40. A 19-yard pass earned a first down at the LC 25. The Eagles ran for 16 for 1st-and-goal at the LC 7. Three plays led to fourth down at the one. The Eagles ran up the middle for the touchdown with 8:03 left in the game. The kick gave the visitors a 3-point lead, 10-7.
The two teams again exchanged punts with the Devils taking over on thir 44 with 3:28 left. Reid ran for 21 yards to the Eagle 35. After two incomplete passes, Reid ran for six to setup 4th-and-4 at the 29. Reid took the snap and ran left, but then cut back against the grain and behind his blockers for a 24-yard gain to the five.
Two attempts by Hartfield gained nonthing before Reid rushed for three. Facing 4th-and-goal at the 2 with just under a minute left, the Devils opted for the short field goal to tie the game. The kick went just wide right leaving the Devils down by 3 with 0:53 left. The Eagles twice took a knee to secure the playoff win 10-7. Mt. Zion will travel to Twin City to play ECI this Friday.
The GHSA has released class assignments for 2016-2018, and the upper limit for Class A was increased to 520.
That means teams like Washington-Wilkes, Greene County, Bowdon, Wesleyan, and Darlington will be in Class A for the next two football seasons. Lincoln County has an FTE of 376 compared to 453 for W-W and 520 for Holy Innocents'.
The next big step is putting the schools into regions. Being only 19 miles apart, Washington-Wilkes and our Devils will certainly be in the same region. The question is what that region will look like. Will it be like the current 7-A and stretch from the Savannah River to Macon? Or will the Tigers and the Devils move into 8-A, the northeast Georgia grouping. Or, one statistical analysis showed that the optimum alignment based on distances and FTEs would be most of the current 7-A subregion B joining the region that includes ECI and Johnson County (south and west of Lincolnton).
JEFFERSONVILLE - Lincoln County beat Twiggs County for the second time this season to capture its ninth victory of the year. The Red Devils will make their state-record 42nd consecutive playoff appearance November 13, probably hosting Mount Zion.
The Devils finished the regular season with the fourth best Power Points rating among Class A Public schools, and will be seeded seventh due to some lower-rating teams winning their regions. Mount Zion from the Carroll County school system will visit Lincolnton in the first round. The Eagles, from Region 6-A, are 7-3 with a 12.2 rating.
Aquinas beat Stratford Academy 48-28 to capture the Region 7-A title for the third straight season. The Irish (13.92 Power Points) are seeded third in the Class A Private bracket, and will probably host Brookstone in the first round.
Region 7-A has six teams making the playoffs. In addition to the Devils and Aquinas, Twiggs County, Wilkinson County, Stratford Academy, and First Presbyterian all look to see post-season action. Defending Class A Public state champ Hawkinsville finished at 5-5 and failed to make the playoffs.
The Georgia High School Association will review and certify the Power Points numbers and resulting seeding after press time, so the above projections could change. Class A teams have a week off this week as all other classes start their playoffs.
On a foggy night in Jeffersonville, the Red Devil defense stopped the Cobras on the opening possession, forcing a short punt that gave Lincoln County the pigskin near midfield. Javon Reid connected with Quay Hartfield for ten yards to the Cobra 43. Hartfield then ran for eight, and gained two more on third down for a first down at the 32. Hartfield for seven and Jayden Robinson for another seven moved the ball to the 18. Tydarius Elam rushed for seven to the 11. An illegal procedure flag cost the Devils five. Reid was almost sacked but got loose and cut left across the field for a dozen yards to the four. Jamar Norman rushed for two before Reid scored from the one. Ryan O'Neill booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 5:48 left in the opening period.
A bad snap put the Cobras in a pit they didn't slither out of, and punted to midfield. The Devils also had issues and punted, but Twiggs clearly roughed the kicker and the Devils got a first down at the Cobra 38. Reid made a perfect pass to Robinson crossing left-to-right over the middle for 28 yards to the 11. Hartfield gained five yards on three runs before O'Neill booted a 24-yard field goal with 11:20 left in the half. The Devils led 10-0.
The Cobras, playing with more confidence, and more players, than they had earlier in the season, drove 80 yards on 18 ground plays to score on a two-yard run. The longest play was 11 yards. Twiggs County ran in for two points to cut the lead to 10-8 with 3:17 left in the first half. Neither team threatened again before the bands marched.
The Devils took the second half kickoff and quickly got to work. Two runs by Hartfield gained 12 yards. Reid rushed for seven, followed by four more by Hartfield. Reid hit Norman on a crossing pattern for 15 yards to the Cobra 24. Three plays later Reid passed ten yards to Xavier Gartrell to barely earn a first down at the 14. Hartfield rushed for five before Reid ran wide left and into the endzone for another Devil TD. O'Neill's kick gave the Devils a 17-8 advantage with 7:43 left in the third.
Both teams punted on their next possessions, with the Devils winning the kicking exchange as O'Neill and the punt coverage team pinned the Cobras to their four yard line. Big penalties on each side left the Cobras with 4th-and-22 at their 10. They faked the punt, but the resulting completed pass came up four yards short and the Devils took over at the 28.
The Devils were unable to move the pigskin, and again pinned the Cobras inside their five. The Devil Defense again did their job and forced a punt, which Elam returned 10 yards to the Cobra 30. Three plays later Elam and Reid combined for 27 yards to the five. Robinson scored from there with 8:23 left in the regular season. The kick failed, but the Devils led 23-8.
The home team proved the game wasn't over yet as their receiver got behind the Devil Defense and scored on an 80-yard pass just 12 seconds later. The Cobras' try for two failed as their runner was stopped short of the goal line. Big Red led 23-14.
Reid kept the pigskin and sprinted left and down the field for 29 yards to threaten again. The Devils got as close as the 14 before O'Neill booted a 35-yard field goal with about four minutes left.
A 36-yard pass got the Cobras close again before time ran out on their efforts. The 26-14 win is the ninth for the Devils this season, which is the most since 2012.
Reid led the Red Devil offense with eight carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He completed seven of 13 pass attempts for 95 yards. Hartfield ran 16 times for 65 yards, and caught four passes for 42 yards. For the season, Hartfield has 821 yards on 121 carries for a 6.79 per carry average, with 11 touchdowns.
you ARE a Red Devil if you grew up on Sunrise Drive with the likes of Thomas Bunch, Larry Campbell, Jimmy Smith, Mack Matthews, Neil Amason, Kermit Adams, Donnie Hill, "Ham" Willingham, Omar Beggs, "Sting Dawkins", etc. There were alot of good players and true contributors to the program that grew up on Sunrise Dr. with all those good men and women keeping an eye out.
you don't allow bright blue and yellow clothes in your home.
you no longer live in Lincoln County but continue to travel to Red Devil games on Friday night!
you know how to get to small towns in Georgia like Homerville, Folkston, and Colquitt
every Friday night is a family reunion (and lot's more exciting!).
you check the Red Devil InGame blog on your cell phone while you're vacationing at Disney World.
you leave Lincolnton at 9 AM for a Red Devil game with a 7:30 kickoff.
With a family of Red Devil fans if all birthday and Christmas presents you give them must be RED or have the words LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS on them in some form.