REGULAR SEASON RECAP
Oct. 15, 2005
LINCOLN COUNTY 20, WASHINGTON-WILKES 13
Washington, Ga. - Drawing inspiration from a blowout loss prediction in the newspaper and two goal-line stands in the first half, Lincoln County stunned its long-time rival Washington-Wilkes, 20-13, in a packed Tiger Stadium.
"We needed this; we needed it bad," said Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell after the Red Devils' fifth consecutive win helped prove an 0-3 start meant nothing. "This is one of the bigger wins I've had, simply because most folks didn't give us a chance."
Based on early success by Washington-Wilkes against tougher competition, an item in The Augusta Chronicle predicted a 27-0 Washington-Wilkes victory in what is always an intense rivalry game.
"I think it bothered our kids," Campbell said of the overwhelming sentiment against the Red Devils. "We lose three games and everybody gives up on us."
Washington-Wilkes coach Russell Morgan didn't need the extra motivation for the visiting team: "I imagine it was all over their bulletin board. When y'all (predicted) us to lose by three touchdowns to Thomson, it was all over our bulletin board."
DESPITE ITS PRESUMED INFERIORITY, LINCOLN COUNTY ANNOUNCED ITS PRESENCE WITH AUTHORITY ON THE OPENING DRIVE CAPPED BY A SHAWNTAVIOUS JENNINGS 1-YARD TOUCHDOWN. A 20-YARD REVERSE INITIATED AN 11-PLAY, 72-YARD, ALL-RUSHING TOUCHDOWN DRIVE THAT CONSUMED NEARLY HALF OF THE FIRST QUARTER. THE ONLY BLEMISH WAS VANCE TARVER'S POINT-AFTER MISSING BARELY RIGHT.
SUITABLY AWAKENED, WASHINGTON-WILKES COUNTERED IMMEDIATELY WITH A 27-YARD CHRIS DEAN BURST TO TRIGGER ITS OWN 11-PLAY, 74-YARD, ALL-RUSHING DRIVE THAT REACHED AS FAR AS THE RED DEVILS' 1-YARD LINE. ON THIRD-AND-GOAL FROM THERE, HOWEVER, KELMETRIS WYLIE WAS STUFFED ON A SWEEP LEFT FOR A 5-YARD LOSS BY LINEBACKER KIECE TRITE, AND THE TIGERS SETTLED FOR A 23-YARD MARK TENCH FIELD GOAL.
WYLIE WOULDN'T BE STOPPED ON WASHINGTON-WILKES' SECOND POSSESSION THAT STARTED AT THE TIGERS' OWN 6. THE SENIOR TAILBACK THEY CALL "MEME" BURST THROUGH A HOLE, SPLIT A THREESOME OF LINCOLN COUNTY DEFENSIVE BACKS AND OUTRAN EVERYONE 61 YARDS FOR A TOUCHDOWN AND 10-6 LEAD.
THE TIGERS WERE POISED TO TAKE COMMAND BEFORE HALFTIME AFTER JERBAR MOSS FORCED A FUMBLE BY LINCOLN COUNTY QUARTERBACK BRANDON BARDEN, AND WASHINGTON-WILKES RECOVERED AT THE RED DEVILS' 35.
THE TIGERS DROVE TO THE 1-YARD LINE WITH 6 SECONDS REMAINING AND USED THEIR LAST TIMEOUT. MORGAN ELECTED TO GO FOR THE TOUCHDOWN INSTEAD OF THE FIELD GOAL AND SEVEN-POINT CUSHION, AND CAMPBELL HAD TO CALL TIMEOUT TO GET HIS KICK BLOCKING UNIT OFF THE FIELD. WITH THE HOME PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER EXCITEDLY CALLING IT "THE BIGGEST PLAY OF THE YEAR, RIGHT HERE," WYLIE WAS DRAGGED DOWN BY JATHEUS JONES ON ANOTHER SWEEP FOR A LOSS as time expired.
Despite 114 rushing yards from Wylie and 68 from Chris Dean in the first half, all the Tigers had to show for it was a 10-6 edge. Neither Wylie (broken ankle) nor Dean (suspension) are available for the rematch.
ON LINCOLN COUNTY'S OPENING DRIVE OF THE SECOND HALF, THE RED DEVILS WENT 71 YARDS ON NINE PLAYS TO REGAIN THE LEAD 13-10 AFTER A BARDEN 1-YARD TOUCHDOWN AND A TARVER EXTRA POINT.
WASHINGTON-WILKES ANSWERED WITH A 27-YARD TENCH FIELD GOAL TO TIE IT AT 13-13 WITH 10 SECONDS LEFT IN THE THIRD QUARTER.
USING ITS VARIETY OF BACKS AND RUN OPTIONS, THE RED DEVILS DROVE FOR THE DECISIVE SCORE ON ANOTHER BARDEN KEEPER FROM 3 YARDS OUT WITH 2:42 REMAINING.
WASHINGTON-WILKES' FINAL CHANCE WAS CRUSHED ON THE NEXT PLAY, WHEN QUARTERBACK CLETE WILSON FAILED TO SEE A WIDE OPEN RYAN KING STREAKING UP THE LEFT SIDELINE AND THREW AN INTERCEPTION DIRECTLY TO RICARDO NORMAN.
LINCOLN COUNTY 20,
Lincoln County 6 0 7 7 - 20
Washington-Wilkes 3 7 3 0 - 13
LC-Shawntavious Jennings 1 run (kick failed), 6:09
WW-Mark Tench 23 FG, 0:35
WW-Kelmetris Wylie 61 run (Tench kick), 5:50
LC-Brandon Barden 1 run (Vance Tarver kick), 5:35
WW-Tench 27 FG, 0:10
LC-Barden 3 run (Tarver kick), 2:42
First Downs 17 10
Rushes-Yards 42-229 38-261
Passing Yards 21 -1
Comp.-Att.-Int. 1-6-0 1-3-1
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Punts-Yards 2-34.5 2-34.5
Penalties-Yards 4-30 4-35
RUSHING-Lincoln County: Barden 18-66, D. Norman 7-68, Jennings 7-29, Ro. Norman 3-30, Ri.Norman 4-27, Beale 3-9. Washington-Wilkes: K.Wylie 23-142, Dean 10-92, Raiford 3-12, Dunn 1-13, Moore 1-2.
PASSING-Lincoln County: Barden 1-6-0 for 21 yards. Washington-Wilkes: Wilson 1-3-1 for minus-1.
RECEIVING-Lincoln County: Ro.Norman 1-21. Washington-Wilkes: K.Wylie 1-(-1).
Washington-Wilkes Tigers vs. Lincoln County Red Devils
7:30 tonight at Buddy Bufford Field, Lincolnton, Ga.