Augusta Christian’s high-powered offense was on display again Thursday night as the Lions stormed past the Fox Creek Predators 38-20.
The game was dubbed “The Battle for the Paddle,” with the winning team retaining a ceremonial paddle until the next meeting.
The Lions left little doubt they would retain the paddle as they jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Lions (4-0) set the tone for the game on its first possession as they went 78 yards in 10 plays using almost five minutes on the clock.
During the drive, running back Thomas Banks carried the ball three times, running back Sean Sweeting had two carries and quarterback Tyler Roberson toted it three times.
Banks and Sweeting seemed more comfortable running over defenders while Roberson chose to be more elusive. Banks finished with 121 yards on 13 carries, while Sweeting gained 55 yards on eight carries.
“We like to matriculate the ball down the field,” Lions head coach Keith Walton said. “When we have long, drawn out drives they feed off it.”
With the running game chewing up chunks of yards in the first half, the Lions seldom turned to their passing attack. But when they did, they had some success.
Up 14-7 with 4:55 left in the second quarter, Roberson was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled and found receiver Nick Fortenberry for a 65-yard touchdown.
“Whenever a play breaks down, I know I can find Nick Fortenberry,” said Roberson.
Roberson finished with 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns, passing for another 142 yards and a score.
The Predators (1-3) running game was effective, gaining 287 yards, but turnovers and penalties slowed them at inopportune times.
They finished with four fumbles, losing two, and quarterback Deondre Baskett was picked off twice.
The Lions got the ball first in the second half and showed what their special teams unit was made of as freshman Heath Brace nailed a 40-yard field goal.
The Predators put together a 10-play drive of their own to cut the lead to 38-13 but would not score again until no time remained in the game.