Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Lincoln County

Head coach: Larry Campbell (35th year)

Classification: GHSA Region 7-A

2005 record: 12-3

Four-year record (since 2002): 45-11

Last playoff appearance: 2005, won state championship

Returning starters: n/a

Key Red Devils: Senior QB Brandon Barden (6-5, 225); Senior RB Darell Norman (5-10, 185); Senior RB Ricardo Norman (6-0, 180); Senior RB Rontae Norman (5-10, 180); Senior TE Jatheus Jones (6-1, 190)

Offensive attack: The double-wing formation is in good hands with Barden, who committed to Virginia Tech in June. Last season, Barden rushed for 552 yards and 16 TDs and passed for 906 yards and 8 TDs. There will be plenty of Normans to receive handoffs; Darell, Ricardo and Rontae combined for 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns last year.

Defensive keys: The Red Devils allowed more points the first three games last season (89) than they did the final 12 (81). The team lacks depth on the line of its 5-2 set, but longtime defensive coordinator Howard Ellis should be able to plug the holes before region play begins. Safety Rontae Norman (9 INTs) will shore up the secondary.

Thin at: Offensive and defensive lines

Big game: Vs. Washington-Wilkes, Sept. 15

Different this year: Lincoln County replaces the three teams it lost to at the beginning of last season with McCormick, Harlem and Washington-Wilkes, now a nonregion foe.

Could go bad if: The team suffers any major injuries. That's about the only thing standing between the Red Devils and another region title.

Great year if: Lincoln County goes undefeated and wins another state championship.


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