Lincoln County's 2020 gridiron slate features new venues from Hiawassee to Statesboro, perennial state powers, old rivals, and a neighboring school that hasn't played the Red Devils in over 80 years.
New Red Devil Head Football Coach Lee Chomskis certainly has his work cut out for him, as his team will face what looks to be one of the toughest schedules in Lincoln County history.
The Devils will host Warren County August 14 for a pre-season scrimmage. The Screaming Devils had their best season in many years with a quarterfinal appearance in 2019. This will be the first fall since 1983 that Warren and Lincoln have not met in a regular season game. The Screamers will be in Region 7-A this year.
August 22 is a milestone date for the Red Devils as they make their first visit ever to Georgia Southern's Paulson Stadium in Statesboro for a 6:00 meeting with long-time playoff foe Clinch County. This Saturday game was arranged about a year ago to be a Class A showcase on the opening weekend of the season. Over the last 40 years the two schools have proven repeatedly they are the top programs in the smallest class. Together the two teams have 19 state football titles since 1976. Lincoln County holds a 5-4 advantage in the series that dates back to 1984, when current Clinch Coach Don Tison Jr.'s father was the Panther head coach. Clinch lost to 2019 champ Irwin County in the semifinals after winning the State three times in the previous four seasons.
The Devils will host Class AA Westside September 4. The two teams split their games in 2014-15.
Lincoln County will return to Abbeville September 11 to take on the always tough Panthers. The game there last season was called late in the second quarter due to lightning. Abbeville was upset in their run to what would have been their fifth consecutive SC Class AA state championship. Abbeville will be looking to prove itself anew in 2020.
Homecoming will be September 18 as LC welcomes back old rival Harlem. The now-Class AAA Bulldogs last played the Devils in 2011. The Columbia County team is coming off three consecutive 7-4 seasons, with a five-game winning streak to end the 2019 regular season.
The Red Devils will make their first varsity visit ever September 25 to the historic Granite Bowl in Elberton. Lincolnton and Elberton played in 1928, 1929, 1938, and 1939, but the 20,000-seat Granite Bowl wasn't built until 1952. The stadium, built from 100,000 tons of blue granite, is regarded as one of the best and most unique high school football stadiums in the USA. The Class AA Blue Devils have had seven straight winning seasons in AA and AAA.
Region 8-A competition starts October 2 with one of the longest football region road trips the Devils have made - nearly three hours to Hiawassee to play the Towns County Indians for the first time ever. The school is located four miles from the North Carolina line.
The Devils will host the Redskins from Social Circle October 9 for another region contest. LC last played Social Circle in the 2008 playoffs, with regular season matchups from 1996 to 2001.
Then the Tigers come to Buddy Bufford Field. First up will be Washington-Wilkes October 23 under a new head coach. No explanation is needed for that game.
The Greene County variety of Tigers snarl into Larry Campbell Stadium October 30 for Senior Night.
Then the Devils conclude the regular season November 6 with more Tigers, as Lincoln County goes to Commerce for the first time since 2009. The two Class A stalwarts have met 18 times since 1986, but this will be the first time as region opponents. Lincoln edged Commerce 21-17 last November in the playoffs.
Some familiar faces are missing from the 2020 schedule. McCormick, the Devils' oldest rival, is missing for the first time since 1993. With the split from private schools, Aquinas is not on the schedule for the first time since 1991. Hancock Central was last not on the schedule in 2003.