Lincoln County meets fellow unbeaten Savannah Christian



LINCOLNTON, Ga. — It’s the chance Charles Folger and the Red Devils wanted, and maybe even expected, to get.

The years have changed, but the quarterfinal opponent is the same. For the third year in a row, Savannah Christian is the hurdle before a Class A semifinal appearance.

“It’s just an opportunity for revenge. It’s going to be a bloodfest,” Folger said. “We hoped to have the opportunity to play them again.”

The desire to see the Raiders again is simple: Savannah Christian has knocked out Lincoln County the past two seasons, winning 7-0 in 2009 and 17-14 in 2010.

But for the first time, both are undefeated.

Lincoln County reached 12-0 with strong performances on both offense and defense. Craig Jones has rushed for 1,235 yards despite never getting more than 19 carries in a game, and Mike McIntire has added 634 rushing yards.

Behind center, quarterback Denzel Gunby has more than 1,700 offensive yards, often connecting with receiver Mason Saggus for big plays.

Offensive coordinator Mike Doolittle gave much credit to the offensive line, which had three new starters entering this season.

But this week’s challenge will be on a different level. Savannah Christian is allowing only 5.6 points per game with 290-pound DeAngelo Brown a disrupter.

Doolittle said the key will be to identify the formation, considering the Raiders line up late and don’t even put their hands on the ground before the snap.

It’s a tough test, but Doolittle said the most important thing to be is technically sound.

“The best team doesn’t win,” Doolittle said. “The team that plays the best wins.”

Savannah Christian presents problems on the other side of the ball as well. Nardo Govan is one of the most dangerous threats, helping the Raiders average more than 40 points per game.

Folger said the offense is better than all the others the Red Devils’ defense has seen this season.

Lincoln County has shut out three of the past four opponents, coming up with clutch goal-line stands this past Friday in a 27-0 blanking of Clinch County.

“Do we have a chance? Yes,” Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell said. “Can we win? If everything goes perfectly, yes sir. We’re not going to think we don’t have a chance.”