LINCOLNTON - Lincoln County's Red Devils donned black jerseys for the first time in at least eighty years and beat GMC 45-2 here last Friday night.
The victory continued the Devils' dominance over GMC and in Homecoming games. Big Red has defeated GMC 24 consecutive times, dating back to the 1960 Class C State Semifinal game. Lincoln has won 47 of its last 48 Homecoming games.
Kolbi Ferguson rushed eight times for 115 yards and two touchdowns to lead an offense with 306 yards on 40 rushing attempts. Tevin Gartrell rushed six times for 75 yards and two scores. Keenon Lampkin completed three of four pass attempts for 42 yards and one TD. Antavious Brown led receivers with one catch for 34 yards and a TD.
The Devil Defense had an excellent night, taking the ball away four times and holding the Bulldogs to negative yardage from scrimmage. GMC lost 27 yards on the ground, and gained 16 yards through the air. The visitors earned one first down in the mercy-shortened game.
Ferguson rushed for 14 yards on 4th-&-1 at the LC 35 on the first Devil drive, and Lincoln County never looked back. A four-yard pass from Lampkin to Colton Willis gained four. Ferguson then broke through the line for 37 yards, barely being caught at the 10. Willis bulled for five before Ferguson scored on a five-yard run. J. T. Bundrick booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 8:40 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs fumbled on their second offensive play with C. J. Zellars recovering at the GMC 34. Lampkin passed to a covered Brown, who caught the pigskin as he fell backwards into the endzone. The kick was good for 14-0 with 7:37 left in the quarter.
The Devil Defense forced a GMC punt. The Devils drove toward the endzone, but a fumble through the endzone ended the opportunity.
The next GMC possession ended with another punt. Kevon Franklin returned the punt 35 yrds but a personal foul flag cost the Devils 15. LCHS earned one first down before turning the ball over on downs at the GMC 25.
Miles Parks recovered a GMC fumble on the next play. Ferguson then tightroped down the left sidelines behind his blockers to again reach paydirt. The 18-yard touchdown came with 10:35 left before the new Homecoming Queen would be crowned.
A bad snap over the GMC punters head caused a safety with 8:39 left in the half. The Devils led by the odd score 23-0.
Gartrell capped a 60-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown run. Bundrick then ran for the two-point conversion for a 31-0 lead midway the second quarter.
Willis intercepted a Bulldog pass and returned the ball ten yards to the GMC 38. Lampkin rushed for five before Zellars added a dozen yards. Speedster Gartrell took the handoff as he ran to the right and then went untouched into the endzone 27 yards later. The kick was good for a 38-0 halftime advantage. The Devils missed a 32-yard field goal attempt as the half ended.
The second half was played with a running clock. Brown intercepted a Bulldog pass at the GMC 15, slanted left, and scored untouched with 9:03 left in the third. Darly Carruth booted the PAT and the Devils led 45-0.
A pass play earned GMC their one and only first down of the game on their next possession. Incomplete passes forced another punt, which Franklin returned 35 yards. Unfortunately, the field was littered with five yellow hankies. The deepest penalty was enforced, leaving the Devils to start at their five. The young substitutes lost yardage on three plays to give the Bulldogs a safety with 25 seconds left in the third quarter. The Devils led 45-2.
After the free kick, the Bulldogs gained six yards and attempted a 48-yard field goal. The kick was blocked with 7:41 left in the contest. The Devils ran out the clock with an 11-play drive.
This game marked the first time in the Devils' nearly century of football that a game ended 45-2.
This Friday the Devils will host Hancock Central in a key division match-up. Warren County surprised Hancock 50-8 last Friday, knocking the Bulldogs out of contention for the division title. If LC wins, and Warren defeats Aquinas, the Red Devils win the division and visit Mount de Sales to decide the Region 7-A title.
The pigskin will fly at 7:30. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Senior Recognition night. Go DEVILS!