MACON - Lincoln County earned a hard-fought win over tough First Presbyterian Day 14-0 here last Friday night.
The 5-0 Devils secured their first shutout of the season and second consecutive shutout of the FPD Vikings. Lincoln County is currently tied with Hawkinsville among Class A Public schools for fewest points allowed per game. LC is third among Class A Public schools in point differential.
Lincoln County's ball control offense consumed much of the clock, especially in the second half. Both scoring drives came on drives of more than a dozen plays, and each took about six minutes off the clock.
Jamal Norman led the Devil ground game with 18 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Quay Hartfield added another score and 65 yards on 16 touches. QB Javon Reid ran a dozen times for 58 yards, including two key drive-sustaining rollouts.
Both punters got a good workout early in the game, with two efforts each in the first quarter. The Viking quarterback broke loose for 28 yards on the Vikings' third possession. On 4th-and-9 at the LC 37, the Devil Defense sacked that quarterback for an eight-yard loss. The Devils failed to make a first down and punted to the Vikings.
FPD's speedy running back broke loose for 55 yards, but the Devil defenders caught him from behind and forced a fumble at the LC 20. The Devils picked up a first down on an eight-yard pass from Reid to Austin Parks. The two teams then twice more exchanged punts.
Tydarius Elam returned the last punt 55 yards to the endzone, but an illegal block flag nullified the touchdown. The second quarter ended scoreless before the Devils could finish its drive.
The Vikings tried a short pop-up kickoff to start the second half, but Austin Parks fair-caught the pigskin at the LC 31. Hartfield went right for 20, followed by a 25-yard run by Reid to the same side. Norman had a hard run over two tacklers for eight yards and a first down at the FPD 12. Norman gained one, Hartfield three, and Norman four setting up 4th-and-2 at the four. Norman powered for two yards, earning the first down by half a football. Norman gained one more before two plays gained little.
Again facing fourth down, Hartfield went over the right side for the needed yard and the first score of the game with 5:56 left in the third quarter. Ryan O'Neill's kick was true for a 7-0 lead.
First Presbyterian had also made halftime adjustments, as it was able to move the ball on the running of the quarterback. His runs of 10, nine, and four yards earned first downs. A sack by Devon Holloway cost the Vikings six yards and forced a punt from midfield.
Starting deep at their 12, the Devils gained one first down at the 36 on runs of eight and 16 by Norman. The drive stalled at the 37, and O'Neill punted. The Vikings roughed him, and the Devils' drive got new life at midfield. Reid kept the ball and ran left, juking two defenders enroute to a 26-yard gain to the FPD 25.
With help from the offensive line, Norman gained 13 yards on two runs to the 12. A penalty on a pass play put the Devils 3rd-and-5 at the seven. Hartfield gained four to the three, but it was fourth down. Reid was able to draw the Vikings offsides to earn the first down at the 1. Norman scored from there. O'Neill's PAT kick gave the Devils a 14-0 lead with only 6:27 remaining in the game.
Both teams punted on their next possessions, and the last Viking effort ended when a fourth-down pass play came up way short. The Devils took a knee repeatedly to run out the last 1:45 and second their fifth victory of the season.
For the game, the Devils were 100% successful when "going for it" on fourth down, making the first down or a touchdown four times.
This Friday, the Red Devils will host their most frequent rival, the Screaming Devils from Warren County. The team has improved over last season, and will be another good test for these young Red Devils. Warren County is coached by former Red Devil and Georgia Southern star Cherard Freeman. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 as Lincoln County opens its subregion schedule.