GREENSBORO - Lincoln County's Red Devils scored on the opening possession of the game, but couldn't keep Greene County out of the end zone as the Lincolnton lads fell 38-13 in the 2005 season opener.
Injuries, heat-induced cramps, turnovers, inexperience, and some questionable officiating led to one of the Devils' worst losses in the past 33 years. This is to take nothing away from a fine Tiger team. They are loaded with a fast, shifty QB that led the Tigers with 96 yards rushing and 124 yards passing. Two other running backs also had over 70 yards as the home team made 22 first downs.
Brandon Barden led the Devils statistically with 60 yards rushing on 6 carries, including a 44-yard TD scramble. After being inserted at quarterback midway the third quarter, Barden completed 3 passes for 108 yards, include a 57-yarder.
After overcoming two holding penalties on their first 2 plays, Big Red drove 61 yards with Tyler Beale socring from 11 yards out. Freshman Vance Tarver booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers came right back, driving to a first down at the LC 12. A penalty and a sack setup a 29-yard pass for a TD after the Devil defender slipped in the endzone. A fumble setup another Tiger scoring effort, which was stopped by a tough Devil Defense inside the 5. Unfortunately Lincoln fumbled 2 plays later, setting up the second Tiger TD. The Tigers scored again with 21 seconds left in the half for a 19-7 halftime lead. Our Devils played hard until the end of the game, theatening to score in the final minutes.
The 38 points allowed is the most since 2001, and the fourth most since 1972. The 25-point losing margin is the second highest since 1973.
In other games of interest, Class A #1 Hawkinsville suffered its first loss in 3 years as it fell to AAA powerhouse Washington County 28-7. Twiggs County was beaten by Landmark 31-8, Washington-Wilkes beat Lakeside 20-10, and Mill Creek upset Athens Academy 27-6. Thomson beat Elberton 14-0. Bowdon, Bremen, and Portal won big. Another Class A power fell Saturday night as #2 Clinch County was upset by Dooly County 13-12; in other action, Commerce nipped Trion 15-14 when Trion missed a short fieldgoal with 20 seconds left.