Augusta Christian showed Friday night why it entered the South Carolina Independent School Class AAA playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
The Lions jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and built it to 37-0 by the half. With the starters on the bench for the second half, the Lions went on to beat Cardinal Newman 51-6.
The Lions (11-0) got two turnovers on special teams and two interceptions that led to 17 points.
“The more series on offense you get, it’s almost like a noose,” Lions coach Keith Walton said. “And it gets tighter the more opportunities we get when the defense can give it to us on the short field and special teams can get it to us on the short field.”
The defense got the ball to the offense quickly, allowing just one first down on a penalty and 5 total yards of offense to
the Cardinals in the first half. The Cardinals finished with 80 yards of offense for the game.
Augusta Christian came out throwing the ball and struck first at 9:33 of the first quarter when quarterback Tyler Roberson avoided a rush on fourth-and-three and found running back Thomas Banks wide open in the middle of the field for a 40-yard score.
“The pocket broke down and he (Roberson) got outside and I just found an open area and he threw it to me,” said Banks, who finished with three catches for 54 yards and 152 rushing yards on seven carries.
Roberson was in command in the first half directing the Lions offense. He had touchdown runs of 1, 8, 17 and 24 yards and finished with 64 rushing yards. He also completed 8 of 12 passes for 152 yards with an interception and a fumble.
Dominique Miles was integral on defense early on and also made his mark on special teams, recovering two fumbles on kickoffs. The first was recovered at the Cardinals’ 19-yard line in the first quarter, leading to a Lions’ touchdown and the 20-0 lead.
Leading 44-6, Dae-vonte Shanks finished off the night as he took a handoff around right end, stiff-armed one tackler and went down the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown on the game’s next to last play.
Augusta Christian will play host to Orangeburg Prep at 7:30 p.m. Friday.