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Lexington tops North Augusta

Field goal in final seconds decides game

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NORTH AUGUSTA — In Friday night’s high-octane shootout between Lexington and North Augusta, the game came down to the team with the ball last.

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North Augusta's Tyrell Hillary tries to elude a Lexington defender.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
North Augusta's Tyrell Hillary tries to elude a Lexington defender.

Adrian Leon nailed a 23-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats to a wild 59-56 win.

Lexington (7-0) entered averaging almost 57 points a game. The Wildcats didn’t disappoint, mustering 545 yards of total offense and coming back from a 14-point halftime deficit.

“I’ve got a bunch of kids that work hard and play hard and refuse to lose,” Lexington coach Scott Earley said. “They believe in the end if they keep doing right and living right, on and off the field, something good will happen to them.”

North Augusta (6-1), which won last year’s game in a 49-42 thriller, had its chance to pull this contest out, leading by eight on Vinny Miller’s 31-yard touchdown run with 5:41 remaining. But the defense couldn’t contain Lexington’s three-headed offensive monster – quarterback Will Hunter, who went 22 for 35 passing for 314 yards, wide receiver Shaq Roland (nine catches, 176 yards) and running back Kevin Miller (23 rushes, 164 yards).

Lexington knotted the game at 56-all after Kevin Miller scored on a 9-yard run, then Jalen Cook hauled in the two-point pass from Hunter.

North Augusta started its final drive from its 32 with 3:09 remaining.

Tyrell Hillary, who went 23 of 38 passing for 331 yards and five touchdowns, quickly moved the Yellow Jackets down to the Lexington 31.

After a Hillary interception was called off because North Augusta called timeout before the play with 1:18 remaining, the Yellow Jackets appeared to go ahead again. Vinny Miller, who finished with 158 rushing yards on 32 carries, scampered 31 yards on third down for an apparent touchdown. The play was called back for holding.

North Augusta couldn’t convert from there, and Lexington got the ball back on its own 34 with 53 seconds left. After a short Kevin Miller run, Hunter completed two passes for 59 yards to set up Leon’s heroics.

“We’ll bounce back on Sunday. We’ll be fine,” North Augusta coach Dan Pippin said. “I’ve got resilient kids. They’re good kids. They work hard. We’ll get it back.”


PLAY OF THE GAME: Lexington wide receiver Shaq Roland went up high for a 39-yard reception from quarterback Will Hunter with seven seconds left to move the Wildcats to the 2 and set up the game-winning field goal.

STAR OF THE GAME: Roland caught nine passes for 176 yards and also ran for 32 more.

WHY LEXINGTON WON: The Wildcats pretty much scored at will.

WHY NORTH AUGUSTA LOST: The Yellow Jackets had issues tackling most of the night and allowed 545 yards of offense.

NEXT: Lexington at South Aiken, Friday; North Augusta at White Knoll, Friday.


Lexington 14 14 14 17 – 59

North Augusta 7 35 7 7 – 56

First Quarter

NA–Vinny Miller 1 run (Mitch Redd kick), 6:37

L–Kevin Miller 7 run (Adrian Leon kick), 4:49

L–Shaq Roland 13 pass from Will Hunter (Leon kick), :10.5

Second Quarter

NA–Devontez Rouse 38 pass from Tyrell Hillary (Redd kick), 10:58

NA–Devin Grimes 17 interception return (Redd kick), 10:50

L–Kevin Miller 7 run (Leon kick), 8:33

NA–Shane Lester 9 pass from Hillary (Redd kick), 10:58

NA–Montez McGuire 26 pass from Hillary (Redd kick), 4:40

L–Roland 57 pass from Hunter (Leon kick), 3:03

NA–Rouse 24 pass from Hillary (Redd kick), 1:09

Third Quarter

L–Roland 19 pass from Hunter (Leon kick), 8:58

L–Roland 34 run (Leon kick), 7:12

NA–Miller 17 pass from Hillary (Redd kick), :08

Fourth Quarter

L–Roland 2 run (kick failed), 7:59

NA–Miller 31 run (Redd kick), 5:41

L–Miller 9 run (Jalen Cook pass from Hunter), 3:12

L-Leon 23 FG, :03


First Downs 27 23

Rushes-Yards 35-231 33-165

Passing Yards 314 331 Comp.-Att.-Int. 22-35-1 22-38-1

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0

Punts-Avg. 2-33 2-22

Penalties-Yards 7-70 5-35


RUSHING–Lexington: Kevin Miller 23-164, Will Hunter 10-35, Shaq Roland 2-32. North Augusta: Vinny Miller 32-158, Tyrell Hillary 1-7.

PASSING–Lexington: Will Hunter 22-35-1 314. North Augusta: Tyrell Hillary 22-38-1 331.

RECEIVING–Lexington: Shaq Roland 9-176, Jalen Cook 8-76, Ryan McCrary 2-38, Taquan West 1-18, Jesse Williams 1-2, Miller 1-4. North Augusta: Montez McGuire 8-125, Devontez Rouse 4-75, Trey Morgan 3-52, Andrew Mayson 3-28, Vinny Miller 2-17, Shane Lester 1-9, John Chambers 1-9.

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etlinks 10/08/11 - 07:01 am
The defense did not show up

The defense did not show up on both sides of the ball but what a great game to watch on TV. I believe these two teams will meet again later in the season and hopefully NA will come out on top.

Displaced South Carolina Boy
Displaced South Carolina Boy 10/08/11 - 09:03 am
I now live in VA, but I still

I now live in VA, but I still follow my alma mater North Augusta. Really thought they would pull off a victory against Lexington!! Such a close game. Looks like the rest of their schedule will have them chocking up some "W"'s!!! Way to go NA!!

BIGTALK1 10/08/11 - 11:02 am

AND ONCE AGAIN... The Chronicle has something negative to say.......Looks like to me BOTH teams "SCORED AT WILL......" But hats off to the "real Media source" in the sports radio and tv personel in this town. You do a great job. and to the North Augusta Yellow Jackets....Hold your heads high.......A minor setback is not a defeat. You have the GREATEST fans-coaches-trainers-field crew that back you and are very proud to support North Augusta Yellow Jackets....ONE TOWN...ONE TEAM...ONE GOAL....

j-campbell 10/08/11 - 04:06 pm
Offense fills the stands, but

Offense fills the stands, but defense wins championships. Actually, winning fills the stands, and N.A. has provided many wins and surely lots of offense over the past three years.

With the same tackling effort as last week against Northwestern, N.A. easily could have won this game. Besides tackling in general,which seems to be a widespread malady in all levels of football these days, two other defensive issues bother me about this team. (1) When a runner or receiver is free in the open field, the defender MUST close the gap with the offensive player and initiate the hit, focusing on the runner's belt buckle area -- not sit back and wait on the runner to come to him. (2) When playing a zone-type pass defense, or man-to-man for that matter, the defensive back MUST play the QB as well as the receiver, and when the ball is in the air, he MUST abandon the zone or the man he is covering and go to the ball -- play the ball.

I have no doubt that N.A. will rebound from this loss and probably win out over the remainder of the regular season. As Dan Pippin knows, I am disappointed that once again we will have to wait another year for another N.A. team to equal the feat of my senior year team (1962) and go undefeated through the regular season. Can you believe it? It's been 49 years since a N.A. team ran the table through the regular season. If these boys can develop an appreciation of the necessity of playing tough, hard-nosed defense, they will have a chance to make a deep run through the playoffs, hopefully all the way to Death Valley.

And no, we will not see Lexington again since they are among the "Big 16" teams in S.C. and will play within that division of AAAA for the state championship. Being a smaller school, N.A. will play within the Division II group of AAAA. It's a shame that the SC high School administration group doesn't fully separate these two groups of schools for regional competition purposes. Because of this loss, N.A. probably cannot be the region champion, yet it will probably have a better record than the other Division II teams within the region as they migrate into the state playoffs.

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