Devils Whip McCormick 27-6, Host ECI Friday

August 27, 2022

(McCORMICK) - Lincoln County crossed the Savannah River and defeated its closest and oldest rival McCormick 27-6 here last Friday night.

Freshman back Kelby Glaze carried 14 times for 65 yards. Josiah Claxton-Jones rushed ten times for 52 yards. Semaj Jenkins scored one touchdown and gained 41 yards on 12 attempts, and caught a 16-yard TD pass from freshman Mekhi Wade. Wade scored on an 18-yard run, and completed two of seven pass attempts for 27 yards and the one score. Punter Judson Beggs averaged 44 yards on three attempts.

Senior running back A'Chean Durant led the Chief offense with 80 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.

Wade returned the opening kickoff 35 yards to the Chief 41. Claxton-Jones twice rushed for three yards before Glaze scampered for 14 to the 21. Glaze gained three more to the 18. The Devils ran the ball again, but the pigskin popped loose. Wade, trailing the play, scooped the ball and went around right end 18 yards for a touchdown. Abraham Crawford booted the PAT, and the visitors from across the lake led 7-0 with 9:08 left in the opening quarter.

Starting from its 20, McCormick lost five yards on a run and illegal procedure flag. The pigskin got loose again, with the Chiefs kicking the ball through the endzone to avoid a Devil recovery and touchdown. Lincoln County was credited with a safety at 8:15 of the first, giving the Peach State team a 9-0 lead.

After the safety and illegal kick flag, the officials had McCormick kick from its 15. The speedy Wade received the ball at the LC 45 and returned 45 yards to the Chief 26. Jones rushed for five and Glaze two. With help from two McCormick offside miscues, the Devils faced 1st-&-5 at the 10. Jenkins went down the right side for the touchdown with 6:10 remaining in the first. Crawford's kick gave Lincoln County a 16-0 advantage midway the first quarter.

A Chief punt followed by a Devil fumble gave McCormick the ball at its 37. A loss and a delay-of-game flag backed the Chiefs up to their 31. QB Markese Stephens took off on a great 69-yard touchdown run on the right side, but the big play was nullified by an illegal procedure call. The home team managed three yards on two plays, then punted to the LC 43 early in the second quarter.

The game became a defensive standoff for most of the remaining half. Durant had a 26-yard run to pull the Chiefs out of a hole at their six, but punted two plays later after the Devil Defense stiffened. The Devils were unable to make a first down on their next possession.

For the Chiefs, two running plays lost 12 yards and the ball. Lincoln County recovered at the Chief 8 with only 20 seconds left. Three plays netted two yards to the six. McCormick's eighth flag of the first half, for offsides, moved the ball to the three. Crawford booted a 20-yard field goal for a 19-0 Red Devil halftime lead.

Amias Parker returned the second half kickoff to the McCormick 32. A 12-yard run by A'Chean Durant earned a first down at their 47. Cam Durant rushed for three to convert a 4th-&-1 to gain a first down at the LC 40. Three plays later A'Chean Durant broke loose for 29 yards to the Devil 6. Two plays later Stevens scored from the five, but illegal procedure took the ball back to the 10. Stevens was caught for a five-yard loss before A'Chean Durant scored on a 15-yard run. The PAT run failed, but midway the third quarter the Chiefs had cut their deficit to 13, 19-6.

The Devils moved down the field despite two large penalties. Claxton-Jones matched the number on his jersey with a 25-yard run to the Chief 35. He shook off two tackles near the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately the Devils fumbled on the next play. Lincoln County stopped McCormick on their next possession, taking over at the LC 32 early in the fourth quarter.

Wade connected with Claxton-Jones for 11 yards, with a late hit on Wade adding 15 yards to the Chief 42. Wade found Jenkins open over the middle, with Jenkins falling into the end zone as he made the touchdown catch of 16 yards. Judson Beggs passed to Jack Antonakos for two points to put the Devils up 27-6 with 4:50 left in the game.

McCormick fumbled the succeeding kickoff with the Devils recovering at the M 24. A personal foul penalty provided a first down at the 12. The Devils failed on a 30-yard field goal with 2:25 left. A'Chean Durant rushed for 23 yards to the M 37, but time ran out before the home team could earn a first down or score. The Devils' 27-6 win improved their season record to 2-0.

Standout seniors Trey Huff and Franklin Brown were kept out of the game to help them heal from their injuries last week. One or both should return to the lineup this coming Friday against ECI.

Emanuel County Institute will visit Lincolnton this Friday in a non-region game. Although both are frequent Class A playoff participants, the Devils and the Bulldogs have not met since a regular season matchup on Buddy Bufford Field in 1991. The Devils are 5-0 against the team from Twin City, with all games played in the four-year stretch 1988-1991. This included a playoff meeting in 1989.

The Bulldogs were 9-3 last year and were a second-round playoff team. They opened their season last Friday with a 28-14 loss to Class A Division I power Metter. ECI is playing in Region 3-A Division II with Portal, McIntosh County Academy, Jenkins County, and Montgomery County.

McCormick fell to 0-2 on the young season. The Bulldogs will travel to North Augusta to play Fox Creek this Friday. The Predators are also 0-2 to start the 2022 season. They were 4-5 last year, falling in the first round of the SCHSL playoffs.

First Downs - LC 12 - M 5
Rushing - LC 39/184/2 - M 34/66/1
Passing - LC 7/2/27/0/1 - M 2/0/0/0/0
Punting - LC 3/44 - M 5/35
Penalties - LC 7/65 - M 16/117
Return Yards - LC 2/64 - 3/17
Fumbles/Lost - LC 4/2 - M 4/2