Lincoln County's Red Devils scored early and often to whip the visiting McCormick Chiefs 41-0 in their 2013 season opener.
While losing their head coach to Class AAAA Aiken High, the Chiefs returned good athletes and several coaches from an 11-3 team and are expected to be competitive this year. That and the lack of a scrimmage had some concerned about our Devils' chances in this early game. The Devils quickly took care of those concerns.
Senior running back Mike McIntire picked up where he left off last season, rushing for 146 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, all in the first half. Starting quarterback Lakeith Lockhart completed four of his five pass attempts for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Jamar Norman was the leading receiver with three catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Norman also returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown. Lockhart and Norman are juniors.
As a team, the Devils led the Chiefs in yards 385-133, with most of the McCormick yards coming against the younger Lincoln County players.
McCormick wanted the ball first but fumbled on third down with sophomore Demarion Jones recovering at the Chief 30. McIntire rushed for about 3 and then Lockhart passed to Norman for another 3 yards. McIntire gained two to setup a 4th-&-2 at the Chief 22. McIntire powered for 6 for a first down at the 16. The senior back went the final distance, scoring with 8:45 left in the first quarter. James Spratlin booted the PAT for a 7-0 Red Devil lead.
A good return and a penalty put the Chiefs inside Lincoln County territory to start their next possession, but the Devil Defense stopped the drive advance at three yards.
After a short punt, McIntire gained 10 yards to the LC 38. Lockhart then found Norman open on the right side of the line. Norman motored almost untouched 62 yards down the sideline, scoring with 5:49 left in the quarter. Spratlin made it 14-0.
Another good return and a first down moved the Chiefs to the LC 30 before a fourth down run came up just short. McIntire then rushed for 3 and 23 yards to the Chief 46. Lockhart then broke loose down the left side for 32 yards. A holding penalty nullified a 14-yard run by Lockhart. The QB then passed 12 yards to Max Ashmore. McIntire scored from the 8 with 1:49 left in the opening period.
Demarion Jones recovered his second fumble of the game to end McCormick's next drive at the LC 42 to begin the second quarter. McIntire rambled for 23 yards, followed by Lockhart for 16. McIntire went the final 19 yards for the score with 10:26 remaining in the half.
The Chiefs came out throwing on their next possession, but Jamar Norman intercepted and scooted down the left side behind plenty of good blocks. His TD came with 9:22 left in the half.
McCormick went backwards on its next drive. The Devils started at the Chief 47, with McIntire having another good run of 16 yards. Lockhart rushed for three before connecting with Norman on a 28-yard touchdown pass. Spratlin's PAT kick with 5:41 left in the first half gave the Devils a 41-0 lead.
The second half was played under the GHSA's running-clock mercy rules. The Red Devils played many of its substitutes to give them much-needed game experience.
The win means the Devils have won at least one game for 59 straight seasons. Since the winless 1954 season, the Devils have won over 81% of their games (589-131-11 with 14 state titles).
The Red Devils have an open date this Friday to help prepare for the September 6 renewal of their rivalry with those Tigers in Washington. W-W is facing Calhoun Falls in a game rescheduled from last week.