LINCOLNTON, Ga. — It didn’t matter Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell was worried about depth on the lines or the injuries at quarterback after losing two seniors at the position from a season ago.
For the Red Devils, expectations are always high, and this year’s team still had high goals.
“I always think we’ll be in contention,” Campbell said.
Even with those preseason questions, the 2011 Red Devils have a perfect record so far as Lincoln County looks to win the Region 7-A championship when it visits Wilkinson County tonight. The scenarios are simple for Lincoln County. If the Red Devils beat the defending region champion, they earn the No. 1 seed for the Class A state playoffs. If Lincoln County loses, it will get the second seed.
In starting 9-0, the Red Devils are off to their best start since 2003, when they won their first 14 games before losing in the Class A state final.
Despite some previous uncertainty, particularly with quarterback Denzel Gunby returning from a leg injury, the Red Devils have scored 350 points for a 38.9 average. That leaves this squad only 27 points away from tying the regular season scoring total from the 2010 team.
Tight end/defensive end Jet Marshall said the efficiency has come down to simple execution and hustle, and that’s helped three players rush for more than 400 yards.
Craig Jones’ 879 yards lead the team, with Gunby totaling 1,345 yards passing and rushing.
“It’s knowing your 1, 2, 3s and A, B, Cs,” Marshall said.
Charles Folger, who plays on both the offensive line and defensive line, said while Gunby was out physically, he was still taking mental reps throughout the comeback.
The injury, which Gunby said goes farther back into his mind as time passes, isn’t hindering the quarterback. Instead, Campbell said Gunby has gotten better every week.
As for the defense, Folger said the secondary has done well against deep balls, and the other positions have assisted the rest as the unit has allowed less than 12 points per game.
Though he plays on both lines, Folger has confidence in those beside him on the field and behind him on the depth chart, as he said the combination of talent and desire is how Lincoln County remains the program it is, even if other teams might have comparable talent.
“That’s what makes us 9-0,” Folger said. “It’s the want to by all the talented athletes.”