LINCOLNTON - Lincoln County fell to Greene County 36-7 here last Friday night to extend the Devils' losing streak to four games.
With the fourth subdivision loss, the Devils fell two spots to 26th place in the unaudited GHSA Class A Public Power Ratings. Surprisingly, that placement is above Warren County at 29th and Washington-Wilkes at 32nd. In three weeks, the top 24 teams make the playoffs.
Kevon Franklin led the Devil offense with 86 yards on six carries. Tevin Gartrell returned to action from a hip injury and rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on ten attempts. Five players missed the game.
The game started well for the Red Devils. The home team took the opening kickoff and drove on 11 plays to the Tiger 20. The Devils failed to convert on 4th-&-6 at the 25 when a pass fell incomplete with less than half the quarter remaining.
Greene County took over and quickly moved the pigskin down the gridiron - 75 yards in less than 90 seconds. Runs of 24 and 19 yards setup a four-yard TD run with 4:14 left in the first quarter. The Tigers ran for two for an 8-0 lead.
A 25-yard run by Franklin put the Devils back in Tiger territory. LC failed to make another first down and punted to the GC 22.
The Tigers overcame three flags and rolled off a 13-play drive. Their quarterback took the snap and rambled over most of the field before scoring on a 22-yard run. The PAT kick was good for a 15-0 advantage with 2:23 left in the first quarter.
A short kickoff gave the Devils good field position, but the offense was pushed back. After a punt, Greene County's big back broke loose for 68 yards and a touchdown. The visitors led 22-0 at the half.
Greene took the second half kickoff, again overcame penalties, and scored on a 28-yard pass midway the quarter. The 12-play drive further drained the undermanned Devils, and all but sealed the victory. The Tigers led 29-0 with 6:09 left in the third quarter.
Franklin rambled for 33 and Gartrell for 14 yards for a first down at the Greene 33. Unfortunately the Devils went backwards from there, punting from the Tiger 45.
Greene scored a final time with 9:29 remaining. The seven-yard pass and PAT put the Tigers up 36-0.
Antavious Brown returned the kickoff 35 yards to the LC 41. Four plays later Gartrell sped 25 yards to paydirt with 6:46 left to play. Lane Tuten booted the PAT to provide the final margin - Greene 36-7. The fourth quarter was played under GHSA mercy rules.
The Devils fall to 2-5 on the season. The five losses are the most in the regular season since the 2001 season when Lincoln County ended the regular schedule 5-5, won their its first playoff begin before barely losing to Bowdon in the second round for a final 6-6 mark. That year has been the only non-winning season since a 3-7 record in 1972, Larry Campbell's first season as head coach.
The Devils' four straight region losses are the most consecutive since a seven-game stretch in 1971. The four region losses are the most in a season since 1972.
The Devils have not won at home this season, but look to have another opportunity in November for the play-in game. Winless-at-home has not happened in Lincolnton since the Devils' 0-10 season in 1954.
The game was the first played with the new scoreboard and play clocks. The scoreboard was funded by local sources and Coca-Cola.
Greene County and Aquinas will battle this Friday in Greensboro to decide the top two spots in Region 7-A Subdivision B. Both teams are undefeated in subdivision play and all others have at least two losses.
This Friday the Red Devils travel to Milledgeville to play GMC Prep (3-5 overall, 0-5 in subdivision). The Bulldogs have returned to region football competition after several years playing a non-region slate. This should be a good chance to add one to the win column. The football will fly at 7:30 in view of the former Georgia state capitol building. Go Devils!