ABBEVILLE, SC -- Red Devil quarterback Javon Reid rushed for 187 yards but Lincoln County came up short against South Carolina powerhouse Abbeville 28-14 last Friday in the Palmetto State.
Reid put the Devils in the lead early with a 60-yard run on the third scrimmage play of the game. William LeRoy's PAT kick came 85 seconds into the game.
The Panthers' relentless rushing game and strong defense showed why they are the top-ranked team in SC Class AA, and the two-time defending state champion. They have won 21 of their last 22 games, with the only exception being their tie last year in Lincolnton.
Abbeville started its first possession at its 39, and drove on the ground nine plays to end with a six-yard touchdown run. Their kicker tied the game at 7-all with 7:40 left in the first.
The Devils earned two first downs on their next possession before punting at midfield. Abbeville marched back down the field to the LC 23. The Panther QB kept the pigskin, stopped then went right for 23 yards. Abbbeville led 14-7 with 11:08 left in the second quarter.
A penalty stymied the Devils' next drive, with LeRoy punting 38 yards to the Panther 30. Abbeville put together a 15-play drive, ending with a 2-yard run by the quarterback. The PAT at 4:20 gave the home team a 21-7 lead.
Lincoln County then drove 50 yards on 13 plays before time ran out in the first half.
The Devil Defense stopped the Panthers at midfield on their first possession of the second half.
Big Red started at its 25 with Gerard Hearst rushing for four yards. Reid rushed for 19 with a lateral to Hearst taking the Devils to midfield. An eleven-yard pass to Duke Roberts gained eleven. The next pass was almost completed in the endzone for a touchdown. Reid rambled for 23 before Hearst added seven to the 12. Reid then connected with Antonio Williams for a TD to halve the Panthers' lead, 21-14. LeRoy kicked the PAT with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers picked up three first downs before the Devils stopped the drive at the LC 45. The Abbeville punt put the Devils in a hole at their nine. Three plays netted zero yards. The punt was downed at the LC 40. Three runs gained a first down at the LC 30. The Panthers scored on a 24-yard run with just under 10 minutes left. Abbeville led 28-14.
These Devils don't give up. Reid almost broke for the distance, but was caught at the LC 41 after a 24-yard gain. He then rushed for 10 yards. The drive slowed until Jamal Norman rushed for 10 yards to convert 4th-and-5 at the Abbeville 44. He then gained 14 yards on the next two plays. Hearst then ran left for 11 for a first down at the Abbeville 9. Two penalties cost the Devils 10 yards, and two passes fell incomplete to end the Devils' last scoring opportunity. The Panthers were able to run the clock out to secure the victory.
Reid finished the game with 16 carries. He completed six of ten pass attempts for 38 yards with one TD and no interceptions. Roberts led the receiver corps with four catches for 34 yards.
Hearst rushed 13 times for 54 yards. Norman gained 38 yards on nine carries.
Abbeville averaged more than 50 points per game in their first three contests this year. The Devil Defense allowed 325 yards but kept the Panthers at about half their point average.
The Red Devils have an open date September 15, as they prepare to host undefeated Stratford Academy September 22.