Originally created 11/26/05

Lincoln County tops Johnson County



ATLANTA - Shawntavius Jennings ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Barden accounted for three scores to lead Lincoln County to a 48-21 victory over Johnson County in the Class A state semifinals on Friday.

The Red Devils (11-3), who have won seven state titles, will face the winner of Saturday's Washington-Wilkes-Bowdon game.

Barden, who had only 26 yards passing, threw for two touchdowns and ran for the other score.

In the second quarter, Lincoln County got good field position off a 46-yard punt return by Rontae Norman, who on the ensuing drive scored on a 15-yard pass from Barden. Franklin Jones' fumble recovery set up a 1-yard score by Barden to give the Red Devils a 29-14 lead.

Norman almost had another score before halftime, but lost a fumble after a 66-yard run that would have put Lincoln County only five yards away from a touchdown.

The fumble wasn't costly, since the Red Devils defense forced a turnover two plays later, putting them back into scoring position. But Lincoln County failed to score going into the half.

The Trojans (12-2) opened the second half with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Harvey Harris. Momentum started to swing Johnson County's direction after the TD, but they couldn't regain the edge.

On third-and-23, Jennings took the handoff, raced through Johnson County's defense and scored from 84 yards away, giving Lincoln County a 35-21 lead in the third. Jennings also had a 27-yard TD in the first half.

Darell Norman, who had 63 yards rushing, added a 10-yard score for the Red Devils in the fourth.

Johnson County took an early seven-point lead when Cordele Johnson's pass was tipped in the air by a Lincoln County defender, but landed in the hands of B.J. Murray for a 43-yard touchdown.