Originally created 11/26/05

Devils' tradition gets a new chapter



ATLANTA - It was a different way for Lincoln County to advance to the state title game.

Three losses to begin the season. Only three starters back this year. The Red Devils even fell out of the state rankings.

"I guess you could say we low-keyed everybody," Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell said. "We dropped off everyone's radar and went about getting better."

Campbell didn't plan it that way. But he created a smokescreen for a now-imposing team to cruise into the Georgia Dome without an ounce of pressure.

"With their injuries and lack of experience, it looks like Lincoln County just zeroed in on doing one thing and doing it well," Johnson County coach Bill Bonds said. "They throw it a bit to keep you off balance and do one thing well. That's run the football."

WHAT'S NEXT: Lincoln County faces the winner of today's game between Washington-Wilkes and Bowdon. The Red Devils would travel to Bowdon or play host to Washington-Wilkes next week.

What's in the air is a Friday or Saturday start. The thought of having to draw a crowd with Georgia playing in the SEC Championship game next Saturday could factor in the decision. Campbell said he'd rather play Friday.

"We'll talk after the game tomorrow," Campbell said. "But I doubt we will be able to play it on Friday. I bet the team that plays on Saturday doesn't want to go without that extra day to prepare."

QUOTE TIME: "He does his best coaching at this time of year. If he wasn't a football coach, he'd been a great March Madness coach. He's got a knack for coaching a team through a playoff or a tournament atmosphere. There's no coach or coaching staff in the state that does a better job coaching per number of kids in the state of Georgia." - Bonds, on Campbell.

SPOTTED: Lincoln County legend Garrison Hearst showed up on the Red Devils sideline Friday afternoon. Hearst lives in Atlanta and still hasn't given up on playing in the NFL after 12 years.

"I feel better and am healthier than I was last year when I was on a roster," Hearst said. "I'm not playing now. Just conditioning. I will give it at least half of next season before thinking about any kind of retirement option."

It was a Georgia fan's dream. Hearst walked one sideline in a derby cap. Johnson County alumnus and fellow Georgia All-American Herschel Walker was on the Trojans' sideline.