On Lexington’s opening possession, they managed just 4 yards in a three-and-out. After holding North Augusta at bay in their opening drive, the Wildcats totaled -4 yards on the second offensive stand. Then the home fans were treated to a dose of speed and athleticism that the Cats would struggle with all evening. Tristan Allen’s punt was returned 32 yards by Dejuan Bell to the Lexington 21. Three plays later the Yellowjackets were in the end zone, marking the first time in the 2017 season that the Wildcats trailed their opponent. It only got worse from there.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Jackets’ Tory Quiller forced a fumble and recovered the ball on the Lexington 19. On 4th down and 1 from the 10, senior quarterback, Landon Washington scored on a keeper to put his team up 14-0.
Lexington got new life when North Augusta committed two personal fouls on a Wildcat drive that stared on their own 19. The second of those was a call for roughing the punter which gave the Cats a 1st down on the Jacket 36. But after completing 4 passes on the possession, Chase Crouch threw an interception on a pass intended for Trevor Daniel. Ten plays and 73 yards later, running back Derius Gibson was loose for a 29 yard run to the end zone.
On the ensuing Cat kickoff, it was Dejuan Bell again turning on the speed and giving his team field position on the Wildcat 34. Bell took the pitch from Washington on 1st down and ran nearly untouched for the score. Lexington was reeling as the scoreboard showed 28-0 in favor of the home team.
The Wildcats gave their fans a glimmer of hope when they engineered a drive of 11 plays covering 62 yards. After 8 runs by Chase Crouch, Jordan Hiller, and Akeem Nicholas and a 27 yard pass to William Crouch, Chase scored on a keeper from the 1 as Lexigton drew within 3 scores, 28-7.
It took just 3:37 for the Yellowjackets to answer. After 3 pass completions and 4 runs, Washington connected with Dejuan Bell for a 26 yard strike. A 2-point attempt was unsuccessful but the lead was increased to 34-7 as the teams headed to the halftime break.
North Augusta wasted no time moving the ball on the opening possession of the 2nd half. Derius Gibson ran 5 times for positive yardage and Landon Washington completed 2 passes. The second went 8 yards to Dejuan Bell in the end zone. The Jacket extra point kick was wide right, but the Wildcat deficit was 40-7.
Lexington would get a bit of a morale booster late in the game. After the Cat’s 29-yard field goal attempt was blocked, Othello Sutton forced a North Augusta fumble and recovered it on the Jacket 12. With 1:04 left in the game, Akeem Nicholas ran wide to the end zone for his first Wildcat touchdown. The final score was 40-14.
Lexington will work to recover from the setback as they prepare to enter Region play against a dominant Spring Valley team on Homecoming night next Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Rushing Yards: Lexington 122 yards, NA 203 yards
Passing Yards: Lexington 126 yards, NA 173 yards
Total Offense: Lexington 60 plays/238, NA 58 plays/376
Interceptions: Lexington 1, NA 3
Fumbles Lost: Lexington 1, NA 1
Penalties: Lexington 3 for 30 yards, NA 11 for 100 yards
Jordan Hiller: 12 carries for 50 yards
Chase Crouch: 11 carries for 46 yards
Akeem Nicholas: 11 carries for 23 yards, 1 TD
Chase Crouch: 10 for 22, 126 yards, 3 INT
William Crouch: 5 catches for 81 yards
Jordan Hiller: 3 catches for 21 yards
Trevor Daniel: 1 catch for 16 yards
Mitchell McGee: 1 catch for 8 yards
Individual Kick Returns
Parker Vancoutren: 4 returns for 80 yards
Akeem Nicholas: 1 return for 23 yards
Will Mosier: 9 tackles
Logan Cripe: 9 tackles (including 0.5 tackle for loss)
David Cromer: 9 tackles
Parker Vancoutren: 7 tackles, 1 INT
Othello Sutton: 5 tackles (including 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
Forest Alvarez: 4 tackles
Jaylen McCoy: 4 tackles
Cooper Smith: 4 tackles (including 1 tackle for loss)