Wildcats hand Yellow Jackets first loss of season

NORTH AUGUSTA — Home­coming cheers turned to tears Friday night at North Augusta.


The Yellow Jackets lost to Lexington, 18-14, after the Wildcats scored on a 93-yard touchdown pass late in the game.

The loss was the first of the year for North Augusta (6-1, 0-1 Region 5-AAAA) and left some of the football players and cheerleaders showing their emotion on the field after the game.

North Augusta led 14-12 and was driving inside the Lexington 10 when the Wildcats (6-1, 1-0 region) stuffed the Yellow Jackets on fourth down. On the very next play, Lexington quarterback Will Hunter overshot his intended target but the ball wound up in the hands of Ryan Brown, who raced 93 yards for the go-ahead score with 1:46 to play.

“I don’t think it was even supposed to go to me,” Brown said. “But I caught it and I just ran.”

North Augusta coach Dan Pippin called it a fluke play.

“It went through the guy’s hands,” he said. “We should have got the first down. It was a bad play call. We should have called timeout.”

North Augusta led 7-6 at halftime as both teams struggled to find the end zone. The Yellow Jackets struck first when Keyon West ran underneath a perfect Trib Reece pass for a 37-yard score.

Lexington countered with a 14-yard touchdown run by Garvin Jackson, but the extra point failed.

North Augusta gained some breathing room late in the third quarter when Dre Dunbar pulled in a 30-yard TD pass from Reece as the Yellow Jackets went up 14-6.

Lexington responded with a touchdown drive that was capped by Grayson Chumley’s 7-yard run.

North Augusta got one final possession and drove to Lexington’s 33. But the game ended when Reece’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Pippin consoled his players, and told them they still have plenty to play for.

“I told them we’ve got four games to play in the region, we’ve got a lot of time to go,” he said. “I think we all tried to do too much tonight. Going for it on fourth down twice, that’s on me. Even when we were up we started pressing.”

The victory left the Wildcats ecstatic as they gained a leg up in the region race after their improbable win.

“It feels great,” Brown said. “That’s all I can say. It just feels great.”

Lexington 18, North Augusta 14

Play of the game: Ryan Brown caught a 93-yard touchdown on a busted play to give Lexington the victory.

Star of the game: North Augusta’s Keyon West caught 12 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Why Lexington won: The Wildcats held North Augusta’s powerful offense to just two scores.

Why North Augusta lost: The Yellow Jackets failed to convert a key fourth down and then surrendered the big play.

Next: North Augusta at White Knoll, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Lexington 18, North Augusta 14

Lexington    6    0    0    12    –    18
North Augusta    7    0    7    0    –    14

First Quarter
NA–Keyon West 37 pass from Trib Reece (Blake Busby kick), 3:47
L–Garvin Jackson 14 run (kick failed), :34

Third Quarter
NA–Dre Dunbar 30 pass from Reece (Busby kick), 2:05

Fourth Quarter
L–Grayson Chumley 7 run (pass failed), 9:21
L–Ryan Brown 93 pass from Will Hunter (pass failed), 1:46

First Downs1421
Passing Yards199214


RUSHING–Lexington: Garvin Jackson 22-122, Grayson Chumley 4-23, Will Hunter 3-7. North Augusta: Willie McCloud 27-112, Dashawn Barnes 15-73, Trib Reece 5-(-4).

PASSING–Lexington: Will Hunter 10-28-0 for 199. North Augusta: Trib Reece 20-33-0 for 214.

RECEIVING–Lexington: Keelo Norris 3-31, Garvin Jackson 1-8, Brentley Allen 3-44, Jayson Hopper 1-2, Ryan Brown 2-114. North Augusta: Keyon West 12-122, Dre Dunbar 5-67, Willie McCloud 2-12, Jaleel Bryant 1-13.



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