WARRENTON - Lincoln County scored early and often last Friday to beat Warren County 63-14 and improve their playoff chances.
Quarterback Javon Reid was responsible for five touchdowns: two rushing and three passing. He ran six times for 64 yards, and completed three of four pass attempts for 164 yards.
The rushing load was spread around with five backs topping 50 yards, as the team totaled 429 yards on 33 carries. Jamal Norman ran eight times for 120 yards with one TD. Gerard Hearst rushed eight times for 67 yards and one score.
Duke Roberts had only one carry, but it went for 70 and a touchdown. In addition to the long TD run, Roberts caught two touchdown passes over 50 yards each, plus another pass to total 137 yards.
After a good return of the opening kickoff by Kevon Franklin, Norman carried three times for gains of 13, 10, and then 23 for a 1st-&-goal at the 9. Reid ran for six before Hearst went up the middle for three and the touchdown. William LeRoy booted the pigskin through the uprights for a 7-0 lead with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
The Screaming Devils lost three on their first possession before a short punt gave the visiting Devils the ball at the WC 40. Norman rushed for six, followed by two runs for 21 yards by Hearst. Reid ran for 18 and the second LC touchdown midway the first quarter. With the PAT, the Red Devils led 14-0.
Penalties slowed the home team on their next possession, with a punt rolling to the LC 35. A motion penalty pushed the ball to the 30 before Roberts took the handoff on the jet sweep, cut across the field, and was never touched on his 70-yard run. LeRoy's kick with 4:32 left in the opening quarter gave the Red Devils' a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Screaming Devils found more offense on their next possession, as runs of 15 and 10 and a 24-yard pass put Warren County in scoring position. Their quarterback scored on a 1-yard run with half a minute left in the quarter. Their two-point run was good, cutting Lincoln County's lead to 21-8.
Less than a minute later, Reid heaved the ball to Roberts on the right side. The receiver was not stopped by the hold of the defenders, and he scored 56 yards later. LeRoy was again good, and the Devils led 28-8 with 11:48 left before the half.
The home team managed one first down before the Devil Defense stiffened and forced a punt to the LC 8. Hearst powered for nine yards, then gained eight more on two runs. Norman got loose for two dozen to midfield. Reid found Roberts open again, this time for 51 yards to paydirt. After the kick, the Red Devils were ahead 35-8 with 5:37 left in the half.
Warren County lost five yards on their next attempt, punting to midfield. Reid-to-Roberts was good for 30. Two plays later Reid scored from the 18 with 2:28 left.
The Screaming Devils were again unable to earn a first down, and a bad snap on their punt attempt resulted in Lincoln County taking over at the WC 27. Reid passed 27 yards to Antonio Williams for the TD with about half a minute left. The kick made the halftime score 49-8.
With the 41-point lead, GHSA mercy rules were applied to run the clock to shorten the second half. The Red Devils started substituting players but the Devil Defense forced a Warren punt on their first possession of the second half. Big Red took over on its 15. Reid rushed for six, followed by Hearst for 28 and Williams for 23. Norman then scampered for 35 yards and another Red Devil score midway the third.
After an exchange of punts, Warren County scored on a 34-yard pass. The kick was wide, leaving the score 56-14.
Second string QB Monquavious Leverett broke through the line for 57 yards, with the Screaming Devils catching him on the one. Three plays later he scored on a 1-yard run. Midway the fourth quarter, LeRoy made it a perfect night in his PAT kicking duties with his ninth successful kick in as many attempts.
Warren County threatened to score in the final minutes but the Devil Defense stopped them three times inside the five before the final buzzer sounded on the 63-14 Lincoln County victory.
Warren County last defeated the Red Devils in 1971. Since then, the Red Devils have won 43 straight times over the Screaming Devils. The 63 points scored Friday night are the most ever scored by a team from Lincolnton against a team from Warrenton. The 63 points are the third most ever allowed by a team from Warrenton. Their record for most allowed is a 72-0 loss to Josey in 1995.
Greene County will visit Buddy Bufford Field this Friday in a key game for the Red Devils. The Tigers, like the Devils, are 3-4 after losses to W-W and Aquinas the last two weeks. The winner of the game should finish no worse than third in Division B, and improve their chances of making the playoffs.
The Devils led early in Greensboro last year before the Tigers handed the Devils one of their worst losses, 42-14, in many years. Greene County moved down from Class AA for the 2016 and 2017 school years.
Aquinas and Greene County met in Augusta Friday with the Irish pounding the Tigers 42-0. Washington-Wilkes improved to 4-3 with a 43-32 victory over Hancock Central.
Looking at the 7-A Division B standings, W-W and Aquinas are tied with 2-0 division records, followed by Lincoln County at 2-1 and Greene County at 1-2. Hancock and Warren are 0-3. Aquinas travels to Washington this Friday, before visiting Lincolnton on October 27.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 this Friday. Be there early!