0

Chargers, Red Devils ready to clash again

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

Many people don't know too much about the small city of Lincolnton, located a little less than three hours away from the Southern Crescent.

Unless your talking about the tiny community of 1,500 and its successful high school football team.

With 14 state titles, all won by Larry Campbell, who has patrolled the sidelines at Lincoln County since 1972, the Red Devils are the definition of a sports dynasty.

The Red Devils will roll out the red carpet Friday night when they play host to Eagle's Landing Christian in the second round of the Class A playoffs.

A week ago, the Chargers opened the playoffs with a 23-18 victory against Athens Academy in a game where the lead changed hands twice before ELCA put together a 3-play, 55-yard drive, capped by Jonathan Tatum's 1-yard plunge for the game-winning score.

The Chargers had to overcome six turnovers to defeat Athens Academy and extend their winning streak to nine games.

Lincoln County knocked off Trion 14-0 in the first round to advance in the Class A playoffs.

ELCA and Lincoln County aren't strangers when it comes to meeting in the playoffs. Friday night's contest will be the third between the two teams, with the Red Devils holding a 2-0 edge.

The two teams met in a second-round contest last year, with the Red Devils putting an end to the Chargers' season with a 14-0 decision. The Red Devils; stopped several ELCA trips into the red zone en route to the win.

Lincoln County also knocked ELCA out of the playoffs in 2006 with a 34-0 victory.

That's ancient history as far as Chargers' head coach Jonathan Gess is concerned

"On any given night, anybody can win," he said. "We have some things, we have to work on, but we are going to come out, ready to play."

Lincoln County began playing football in 1970, and the squad has turned into a Class A juggernaut, posting a 443-84-4 overall record. Campbell is in his 38th season, winning 438 games, the most by any coach in Georgia.

The Red Devils have made the playoffs every year since 1972 and this edition enters Friday night's game with an 10-1 record.

Eagle's Landing Christian comes into the road contest with an 9-2 record. The Chargers have been to the playoffs six straight year, but never past the second round.

A week ago, the Chargers opened the playoffs with a 23-18 victory against Athens Academy in a game where the lead changed hands twice before ELCA put together a 3-play, 55-yard drive, capped by Jonathan Tatum's 1-yard plunge for the game-winning g score.

The Chargers had to overcome six turnovers to defeat Athens Academy and extend their winning streak to nine games.

Lincoln County knocked off Trion 14-0 in the first round to advance to the second round of the playoffs.