LINCOLNTON, Ga. — Lincoln County had time – at least it said so on the scoreboard. However, Dooly County made sure the pressure got there in a flash.
A Dooly County defense that attacked, sacked and hurried Lincoln County all night long had one more stand when the Red Devils got the ball down 3 points inside their 40 with less than a minute to play.
The Bobcats made sure there was no season-extending drive for the Red Devils.
Dooly County, led by star defensive lineman Montravius Adams, survived to win at Lincoln County, 10-7, in a Class A public state semifinal Friday night. The Bobcats will go for their first state championship against Emanuel County Institute next Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
“We got some special players on our defense,” Bobcats coach Jimmy Hughes said. “Montravius is a heck of a player, but we’re more than a one-man show.”
Each team had a special teams touchdown, but Dooly County’s line dominated and its secondary kept Lincoln County’s dangerous receivers out of the end zone.
Dooly County got its touchdown when it was up 3-0. With the Red Devils hoping to tie it with 2.7 seconds to play in the first half, Dooly County (11-2) broke through the protection and blocked the field-goal attempt. Mark Clark picked up the ball and sprinted for a touchdown.
Lincoln County finally scored its touchdown with 2:54 left in the game. Dooly County mishandled the snap on a punt, and the Red Devils fell on it in the end zone.
Lincoln County then attempted the onside kick with it down 10-7 and without timeouts, but Adams fell on it. The Red Devils (11-2) got the ball back but could do little with it.
Adams and the other lineman were in the backfield most of the game.
The Red Devils threw the ball 35 times, trying to get the ball to its talented and veteran receivers in space. But whenever Lincoln County got close, disaster showed up.
Early in the game, after Lincoln County recovered a Dooly County muffed punt, Turner gave the ball back. At the Bobcats’ 14, Turner got to about the 10 when he fumbled.
Then, in the fourth quarter, the Red Devils were stopped on downs inside the Bobcats’ 5.
Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell, who was bidding for his 12th state title with the Red Devils, didn’t quite know what to tell his team after the disappointing loss.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Campbell said..