2006-11-09 / Sports

Devils clinch region title with shutout of Twiggs

By TYLER HINSON

THE RED DEVILS SCORED THEIR FIFTH SHUTOUT OF THE YEAR LAST WEEK Twiggs County's Cobras failed to strike against the powerful Lincoln County defense. THE RED DEVILS SCORED THEIR FIFTH SHUTOUT OF THE YEAR LAST WEEK Twiggs County's Cobras failed to strike against the powerful Lincoln County defense. Temperatures dipped well below freezing for the first time this season at Buddy Bufford Field Friday night as the Red Devils met the Twiggs County Cobras. According to the cheerleaders, the Devils "liked the view from the top," shutting out the Cobras 41-0 for their sixth region win. Lincoln now has an 8-1 record on the regular season, remaining undefeated in Region 7A.

The finale to Senior Week at Lincoln County High School was a grand march before the game in which the accolades of all senior football players, band members, and cheerleaders were listed, setting the stage perfectly for what would be their last regular season home game.

Head Coach Larry Campbell felt a definite degree of uncertainty going into Friday's game. The Red Devils' coach had cautioned us before about Twiggs County's power within our region. The boys brilliantly proved his concerns to be unfounded. at least when playing against Lincoln County.

The contest started out slow for both sides until the Devils' second possession of the game, when senior quarterback Brandon Barden, who tossed for a total of 98 yards in the game, threw a long pass deep into Cobras territory to senior tight end Jatheus Jones, gaining 38 yards. Soon thereafter, Barden handed one off to senior fullback Franklin Jones who ducked into the end zone.

FRANKLIN JONES WAS THE FIRST RED DEVIL TO SCORE The Lincoln offense and defense combined for 41 points Friday. FRANKLIN JONES WAS THE FIRST RED DEVIL TO SCORE The Lincoln offense and defense combined for 41 points Friday. Senior Cobra quarterback Sidney Bishop completed a clean 20-yard toss in the final ownership of the first quarter, but Twiggs forced no further than the Devils' 46-yard line.

Just thereafter at the opening of the second quarter, senior defensive back Rontae Norman intercepted a pass by Bishop for the Devils and the Cobras increased Lincoln's yardage further with a facemask penalty. Senior Devil running back Ricardo Norman then proceeded quickly across the goal line.

Junior defensive lineman Tony Wells proved the antivenom for the Cobras on their next possession, forcing a punt after just one set. Barden then threw a bullet to Rontae Norman who ran in for the Devils' third touchdown.

QB BRANDON BARDEN PASSED FOR 98 YARDS He'll lead the Devils in thier final regular season game at GMC. QB BRANDON BARDEN PASSED FOR 98 YARDS He'll lead the Devils in thier final regular season game at GMC. Senior Devils' fullback Jeffrey Porter then took his turn, sacking Bishop and stealing Cobra momentum. Three plays later, Twiggs fumbled and Lincoln County took possession once again. Barden then pitched long to senior running back Ricardo Norman who put up six more points.

Devils' defensive back Carlous Hearst punished Bishop for a massive loss on their next ownership, forcing yet another single-set punt by the Cobras. Twiggs was twenty yards from a first on fourth down on the play, but a Devils fan facetiously yelled, "Don't punt, go for it!"

Both teams struggled from that point on as the ball moved back and fourth. The Cobras intercepted, and then took a knee as time ran out to set the stage for the third quarter.

The visitor's stands were sullen at the end of the second, with Twiggs County trailing the Devils 28-0.

The frosty climate claimed a few, but not many, Red Devil fans at halftime, as the band announcer thanked all of the senior band members for their years of dedication. The band's performance Friday featured a troupe of miniature majorettes from Fancy Footwork during their final number.

The Cobras opened the second half with a decent return, but were pressured by Wells and Hearst, who forced a punt. The punt was short, and the Devils took control deep in Twiggs territory, where Franklin Jones speedily scored his second touchdown of the game, the team's fifth.

Sacks against both teams and several penalties left both competitors scoreless for the rest of the third quarter and some of the fourth before Devils red shirt A.G. Middlebrooks scored the Devils' final points of the game. The points came on Middlebrooks' second trip into the end zone that set. Middlebrooks' first was rescinded after a penalty was charged to Lincoln County. Suffice it to say, in Red Devil country, lightning always has the potential to strike twice in the same place.

Twiggs managed on their final possession to drive for two full sets, coming dangerously close to the goal line before Lincoln County ended the game with sophomore defensive back Jarren Brown picking off a pass by Bishop in the end zone. With that, the mighty Red Devils of Lincoln County claimed their 32nd region title.

This week, the Red Devils go on the road to play their final game of the regular season at GMC in Milledgeville. GMC is last in the region standings, remaining winless against region opponents and with an overall record of 2-7. The last time Lincoln County lost to GMC was in 1935. A victory for Campbell in Milledgeville would spell the legend's 300th regular season win in thirty-five seasons.

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