History was not reversed Friday night at Lincoln County. The Red Devils simply repeated the natural flow of what happens when a team called Aquinas is on the docket for a football contest.
Lincoln County racked up 24 first downs and its defense harassed savvy Aquinas senior quarterback Eric Stallings with four sacks.
Stallings could not complete a pass. Lincoln County (5-1) had little trouble with that feat, throwing for 203 yards of its own.
The Red Devils also collected more than 300 rushing yards.
A double-reverse pass worked in typical Lincoln County fashion, going for 50 yards on the first snap of the game.
"We didn't call that until right before we came out here," Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell said. "We thought we could complete it. We knew they had so much enthusiasm. We wanted to have a good play on the first play, so we tried it. ... We wanted to get them out of it early. They were definitely jacked up for the ballgame early. You could sense that."
Maybe the challenge of an undefeated Irish team was felt in another way. The average margin of victory had been 36 points over 23 games and a 30-point halftime advantage.
Lincoln County could only earn 21 first-half points despite 340 yards across the opening two quarters.
"We've still got work to do if you can tell," Campbell said. "We didn't do a good job of blocking or running our two-minute offense. We lost two good linemen early. Give the other side the credit for that. That's the sign of some pretty good hitting going out here."
THOMSON ROLLING: Thomson looked like it was finding its niche against Hephzibah. The Bulldogs have now won three consecutive since falling at home to Burke County.
Thomson has scored a combined 112 points and at least 35 points per night in wins against Cross Creek, Harlem and Hephzibah. This after the team scored no more than 21 points in each of its first four games.
Thomson's Wing-T offense proved to be unstoppable against Hephzibah as 13 different rushers combined for 369 yards on 52 carries. Senior quarterback Dan Ivey completed two passes for touchdowns.
"Right now, we're playing well," Ivey said. "We can't look back. We just have to keep improving."
AQUINAS AFTERMATH: Stallings was understandably shaken after the game Friday.
"That trick play and the big pass was our guys just not being in the right place at the right time," Stallings said. "I guess that is first part of the game jitters."
Aquinas travels to Warren County next week.
"Next week is bounce-back week," Stallings said. "Warren County is a good team, but I think we can play with them also. We should be bigger than them but as you see that really doesn't matter. Winning big football games on the road is a matter of executing and going out there with a good game plan."
The Irish seemed to still hold a steely resolve afterward.
"We'll bounce back," senior lineman Napolean Stewart said. "We knew this would be a tough game. Our goal is to make the playoffs. We've got four more games to go to do that. We just have a lot of heart. We really believed we could beat this team, but we it came right down to it we just couldn't. We believed."
NO SLEEPING BEARS: Burke County (4-2) pulled off the surprise of the weekend with a 34-7 pasting of previously unbeaten South Effingham in Guyton. The road victory essential placed the Bears' playoff fate in their own hands. South Effingham (6-1) had allowed only 43 points in their previous six victories.
Staff writer Chris Gay contributed to this report
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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