LINCOLNTON - Kolbi Ferguson scored five times and rushed for 164 yards to lead the Lincoln County Red Devils to a 41-0 victory over the McCormick Chiefs here last Friday night.
Ferguson carried the pigskin 18 times. He almost had a sixth touchdown on a 62-yard run, but an illegal block cut the run to 39 yards near the end of the second quarter. Ferguson's offensive production came in the first 2.5 quarters, with many starters leaving the game midway the third quarter.
Colton Willis rushed eight times for 107 yards and one touchdown. The Devils amassed 357 yards of offense compared to only 65 for the visitors from South Carolina.
Willis also intercepted a pass and returned a punt 46 yards, with both setting up Devil touchdowns.
The night did not start out well for the Devils, as they fumbled after a good opening kickoff return. McCormick returned the favor on the next play, with Willis snagging the ball for the Devils.
Willis drove the Devils down the field with runs of 11, 17, and 32 yards before scoring from the three with 7:55 left in the first quarter. J. T. Bundrick booted the PAT to give the Devils a 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs gained a single yard on their next possession, punting to their 43. Tevin Gartrell rushed for 17. Offsides against McCormick picked up five to the 21. QB Keenon Lampkin passed 11 yards to Antaevious Brown. On the next play, the Devils had the ball stripped with the Chiefs recovering at their 10.
The Devil Defense again did their job, forcing a Chief punt. Starting from the McCormick 40, and with Ferguson carrying the pigskin four times, the Devils moved to the Chief 5. Ferguson took the direct snap and scored with 11:26 left in the second quarter. The extra point gave the Devils a 14-0 lead.
McCormick earned one of its two first downs on its next drive before the Devil Defense stopped the visitors on downs at midfield. Willis scrambled down the left side for 33 yards. Ferguson then scored from 16 yards out, going almost untouched. After the kick, the Devils were up 21-0 with 7:01 remaining in the half.
The Chiefs were stopped at midfield again. Kevon Franklin returned their punt 46 yards to the McCormick 38. Lampkin connected with Darien Elder for 36 yards to the Chief 2. Ferguson took the direct snap and busted into the endzone. The kick was good for a 28-0 advantage with 4:23 remaining before the Devil Pride band hit the field.
Willis intercepted a pass at the McCormick 36. Ferguson bulled his way 38 yards into the end zone, pushing and pulling many players with him. The PAT kick failed, but Lincoln County led 34-0.
The Devil Defense forced another three-and-out for the Chiefs, followed by a punt to the LC 38. Ferguson broke loose and scampered 62 yards to paydirt, but a yellow hanky flew for an illegal block. The gain was cut to 39 yards, and time ran out before the Devils could score. The home team led 34-0 at the half.
The second half was played with a running clock, under the GHSA's mercy rules. The Devils drove again with Ferguson scoring his fifth TD of the night on a 12-yard run with 5:12 left in the third. Gianna Anderson booted the extra point for a 41-0 Devil lead. In doing so she became the first female Devil player to score.
The two teams traded the ball the remainder of the game. Of note, Carly Carruth punted twice with an average of 25 yards. She thus became the first female punter for the Devils.
The 1-1 Red Devils are off this Friday. On September 13, Lincoln County will host the Tattnall Square Trojans in a Region 7-A crossover game. This will be the first visit to Lincolnton by the Macon private school. Kickoff is set for 7:30.