Lincoln County's Red Devils beat the Greene County Tigers 44-15 last Friday night for their 46th consecutive Homecoming win. The victory improves their 2017 record to 4-4 leading to this Friday's showdown with Aquinas.
Lincoln County last failed to win Homecoming game in 1971 when the Devils lost their last seven after winning their first two games.
The Devils have no time to celebrate as strong Aquinas visits Lincolnton this Friday night. The Irish are 6-2 and are coming off a 24-8 win last Friday night in Washington. They have won their last five games this season, and four straight over the Red Devils. Their season-opening loss was to Prince Avenue Christian, the second-ranked team in Class A Private Top 10. Aquinas is ranked in the Top 10.
A Lincoln County win over the Irish will create a three-way tie with Washington and Aquinas for the Region 7-A Division B top seeds. If the Devils fall to the Irish, Aquinas will be seeded first with Washington-Wilkes second and Big Red third. The Division B teams will travel November 3 to play the corresponding Division A seed.
With the win over Greene, the Red Devils improved to number 22 on the latest Class A Public Power Ratings. The top 24 teams make the playoffs. Another victory will improve chances of making the playoffs. Aquinas is ninth in the Class A Private Power Ratings. Washington-Wilkes is fifteenth in the Public Power Ratings.
Duke Roberts caught four passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Devil offensive charge. He also returned a punt 50 yards to setup a touchdown. Javon Reid completed five of nine pass attempts for 139 yards and the three scores.
Gerard Hearst led the rushing attack with 95 yards on 14 carries, with one touchdown. Jamal Norman scored twice with 14 carries for 70 yards. Reid ran six times for 55 yards.
Lincoln County gained nearly 400 years on 51 plays as it controlled the game almost from the beginning. The visiting Tigers earned only 140 yards.
Greene County surprised the Devils on the opening kickoff and recovered an onside kick. The Devil Defense took care of the problem, knocking the Tigers back three yards and forcing a punt. Duke Roberts snared the pigskin on the 20 and raced fifty yards deep into Tiger territory. Reid rushed for 13 to the 11. Hearst powered for eight before Norman gained two. Hearst went up the middle for one yard and a touchdown with 9:28 remaining in the first. William LeRoy booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
Quick, short passes helped Greene County march down the field until the Tigers cane up short on downs at the LC 15. The Devils took over but were unable to earn a first down and punted.
A pass and three runs helped Greene County overcome two penalties and make a first down. Jayden Robinson broke up a fourth-down pass and the Devils took over on the LC 41. Reid passed 14 yards to Roberts, who was helped from the field after a rough tackle.
Hearst rushed for eight. Reid hurdled a defender at the line-of-scrimmage and gained 17 yards. Norman ran for seven before scoring on a five-yard run just past the midway point of the second quarter. LeRoy's kick was good for a 14-0 lead.
The Tigers bobbled the following kickoff at their one, but that threw off the coverage's timing. Greene returned the kick 99 yards for a touchdown with 5:23 remaining before Homecoming festivities.
Antonio Williams brought the fans to their feet again as he returned the next kickoff 40 yards to the GC 25. Two runs by Hearst for a dozen yards earned a first down before LeRoy booted a 34-yard field goal with three minutes left in the half.
Travon Leverett recovered a Tiger fumble on their first play after the kickoff. A holding penalty shorted a 20-yard run by Reid. Norman picked up nine on the ground. LeRoy attempted a 31-yard field goal but the pigskin sailed left with just under a minute to go.
It looked like the halftime score would be 17-7, but Reid had other ideas. He intercepted a Greene pass and returned the ball 30 yards to the GC 10. Three plays later Reid moved to his right and found Roberts in the corner of the endzone for eight yards and another TD. LeRoy's kick was good with 1.9 seconds left. The Devils led 24-7 when the new Queen was crowned.
Johnathan Montgomery sacked the Tiger QB to force a punt to end their first possession of the second half. Roberts got behind the defenders and received Reid's pass with the play good for 68 yards and a touchdown. LeRoy booted the PAT kick with 8:40 left in the third. Big Red was ahead 31-7.
After a Tiger punt, the Devils kept the ball on the ground with Hearst and Norman moving LCHS steadily down the field. Norman scored from the one with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter. LeRoy was again good on the point-after to extend the lead to 38-7. The fourth quarter would be played under GHSA mercy rules.
After another Greene punt, Hearst broke a good run for 24 yards to midfield. Reid and Roberts hooked up again, this time for 47 yards. Roberts scored with 10:19 left in the game. The kick failed but the Devils led 44-7.
Greene County scored on a 20-yard run with 6:03 left. They ran for two for the final 44-15 margin.
Kickoff Friday is at 7:30. A big crowd is expected for this important game, so supporters are encouraged to arrive early. This may be the last home game for the Devils this year; fans are urged to stop by the CheerDevils' Spirit Shack to purchase Red Devil gear.