Lincoln County High's Red Devils whipped the McCormick Chiefs 41-8 in a solid overall game to open the 2017 varsity season.
This Friday, the Devils will make their first trip ever to Grovetown to take on the Warriors. Their stadium is located at the school on William Few Parkway near Baker Place Road. Parking is available on the visitors side, adjacent to the baseball field. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Returning Red Devils showed that experience matters. Jamal Norman rushed 18 times for 94 yards and one touchdown. Javon Reid completed four of seven pass attempts for 82 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran three times for 42 yards and a score. Riccardo Hawes ran 11 times for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Antonio Williams caught two passes for touchdowns, totaling 63 yards. Midarious Roberts made one reception for 15 yards.
The Devils had zero turnovers, but took the pigskin away from the Chiefs twice. Lincoln County will work to improve on their extra points and penalties, but those were not major concerns in this opening event.
The Devils took the opening kickoff and proceeded to grind the ball down the field. Norman was Fthe workhorse with seven rushes for 40 yards. Reid found Williams open over the middle for 34 yards and the first score of the season. The kick failed but the Devils led 6-0 with 7:11 left in the first quarter.
McCormick came out throwing, but the Chief's first pass was caught by Roberts who returned the ball to the McCormick 38. After a pass attempt was almost caught at the five, the Devils returned to their strong ground game. It was Norman, Norman, and Norman five more times until he scored from the 4 with 3:18 left in the first period. The PAT pass failed, leaving the Devils up 12-0.
The Chiefs lost 15 yards on their next possession. Roberts returned their punt 13 yards to the Chief 31. After an illegal block penalty, Hawes became the main mover with four rushes, including one for the final yard to the endzone. He then ran for two points to give the Devils a 20-0 lead with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Chiefs failed to make a first down and punted to the Devils at their 41. This series the Devils' tried their passing game, as Reid completed a nine-yard pass to Monquavious Leverett on a scramble with Leverett coming back to help out his QB. Reid passed 15 yards to Roberts to the 29. Reid and Williams repeated their earlier feat, this time for 29 yards for the TD. William LeRoy booted the PAT for a 27-0 lead with 7:38 left in the half.
McCormick finally put a drive together, for 66 yards on ten plays. Their quarterback scored on a 13-yard run with 1:51 left. He then passed for two points to cut the lead to 27-8.
Any thought of a miraculous comeback was quickly ended when Williams caught the following kickoff with his toes barely in bounds, then turned and took off. He went untouched 70 yards to paydirt. LeRoy's kick gave the Devils a 34-8 halftime advantage.
The Devil Defense again did its job and stopped the Chiefs on their first drive of the second half. Starting from the LC 40, Williams gained nine yards on a end-around before Norman rushed for 16. Williams ran for two more, followed by two by Norman. Reid kept the ball, made two good cuts, and stopped only when he crossed the goal-line 30 yards later. LeRoy's PAT boot with 7:35 left in the third closed out the scoring in what would become a 41-8 Red Devil victory.
The Chiefs threatened on their next possession, driving to the LC 4. Jayden Robinson, who made hard hits throughout the game, grabbed a Chief fumble to end the threat. The fourth quarter went by quickly under the GHSA mercy rules.
The Devils totalled 16 first downs and 312 yards offensively, plus the 70-yard kickoff return. The Devil Defense held the out-of-state visitors to 147 yards. Much of that yardage came later in the game after the outcome was decided and the Devils were playing their younger men.
McCormick is the Red Devils' oldest rivalry, as the two teams originally met in 1922 in the Lincolnton's team first game. The last McCormick win was in 1974: 14-6 when the Chiefs were top-ranked in South Carolina.