Remembering 1986: Devils Finish Strong for State Title

September 20, 2016

The 1986 season started with high hopes, as the Devils won the 1985 Class A state title with a 15-0 record. Lincoln County was ranked #1 in A, but had to face the #2 team in Class AA in its first game when arch-rival Washington-Wilkes came visiting. The Tigers scored on the last play of the game to win 12-10 and get their first win over the Devils since 1975. The Tigers were at the high point of their Butch Brooks era, and would go on to lose in the Class AA finals.

The Devils came back strong the next two weeks with a 55-0 win over Abbeville and a 27-0 win over Calhoun Falls. The Devils then lost to AA Greene-Taliaferro 28-24 to fall to 2-2.

A win over strong Commerce 13-6 got the Devils back on the right track. A 10-7 win over upstart Louisville started a run through Region 4-A that included a 69-6 trampling of Aquinas. The Devils were ranked #2 as they ended the regular season 8-2. The region playoffs saw repeat wins over Wrens and Warren County. The first two rounds of state playoffs saw the same outcome as 1985 - wins over Wilcox County and Montgomery County.

Then came the finals - a long trip to Rome to take on the East Rome Gladiators. East Rome had moved down from Class AA, where they had won state titles a few years earlier. Both teams had allowed less than four points per game coming into the contest. East Rome scored in the first quarter on a short run. Greg Leverett passed 16 yards to Johnny Postell for the Red Devil touchdown. Kennedy Starks booted the winning extra point.

Curt Douglas, Anthony Glaze, and Antonio Blackwell each intercepted passes in the second half to keep the Gladiators off the scoreboard. The Devils won 7-6 to claim there second consecutive state title, and their seventh all-time.

The Devils' "tradition of excellence" continues in 2016 ...