Defense claimed top billing Friday night at Austin Childers field, with big offensive plays coming at a premium. In the end, visiting Lincoln County’s pair of methodical drives was enough to keep the Red Devils unbeaten with a 14-0 victory against FPD.
“It was just a hard-fought Friday night football game,” FPD head coach Greg Moore said. “They ended up making the plays that they need to make when it was time to make them, and we did not.”
The Vikings’best scoring chance came late in the first half when Armaun Smith sprung loose down the near sideline on a 55-yard run, only to have the ball stripped from behind and recovered by Lincoln County (5-0). Instead of having the ball deep in Red Devils territory, the Vikings headed into the halftime in a scoreless tie.
Lincoln County took control from there. The Red Devils, who limited the Vikings (2-2) to 180 yards of offense, came up with another way to stop FPD -- limit the Vikings’ chances. In the second half, Lincoln County used up the first 6:04 of the third quarter on a 15-play, 68-yard drive, finally getting into the end zone on fourth down from the 1-yard line as Quay Hartfield surged into end zone. The Red Devils all but put the game away with 6:27 to go in the game when Jamal Norman’s 2-yard run put the finishing touches on a drive that was kept alive by two defensive penalties and a running into the kicker personal foul.
“The start of the second half was not exactly the way how we hoped things would go,” Moore said. “They have a very good football team, and it’s unfair for me to pinpoint and critique too much the things that I wish we would have done. Part of our problem (Friday) was Lincoln County.”
FPD’s defense kept the Vikings in the game, preventing big plays by Lincoln County and holding its running game in check. Hartfield entered Friday having rushed for more than 130 yards the previous two games, but he was held to 35 yards on 12 carries by the Vikings. Norman ended up as the Red Devils’ leading rusher with 106 yards on 23 carries.
The two touchdowns were more than enough for Lincoln County on Friday. Its defense didn’t allow the Vikings to get going on the ground, as the FPD passing game was unable to get on track, thanks in part to pressure applied to quarterback Will McCormick. The Vikings’ best sustained drive came in the first quarter, with McCormick getting the majority the work before it fizzled out at the Red Devils 32-yard line. McCormick rushed 16 times for 31 yards and was 5-of-13 passing. Smith led the Vikings on the ground with 16 rushes for 31 yards.
“We ran into some tough sledding on offense, which is not normal for us,” Moore said. “But I’m real proud of the way we played overall.”