Deep in the third quarter, Jalen Lampkin stood on the sideline near the 45 still wearing his helmet.
At this point, he was nothing more than an innocent bystander. Yet, the Westside senior quarterback looked on in coach mode, doing what he could to help backup Tyree McCord.
“It wasn’t a chill moment at all,” said Lampkin, who estimated he’s played in just eight of 12 quarters this season. “We were still trying to keep scoring. I like to make sure we keep pushing.”
Lampkin scored three touchdowns in the first half as Westside rolled to a 41-0 win over Hephzibah.
The Patriots improved to 3-0, scoring 40 or more points for the third consecutive game. Westside posted 331 yards of total offense, most of it coming before intermission.
Lampkin recorded 225 total yards, playing only the first five drives of the contest – he got pulled just before halftime with Westside up by 34. Lampkin scored on a 79-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage and added two touchdown passes, completing all six attempts for 145 yards.
“It all centers around Jalen,” Patriots coach Steve Hibbitts said about his team’s successful triple-option attack. “He did a good job running things and making good reads. When he’s clicking, it’s really going good for us.”
Westside started the game from its own 2 and acted like it was nothing. On the first play, Lampkin fired a quick pass left to Quinton Phillips for 19 yards. Then on the next play, Lampkin broke free on an option run for a long touchdown. Twenty-seven seconds into the contest, Westside led 7-0.
Five minutes later, Lampkin threw a slant pass over the middle to DeMarcus Vaughn who darted 45 yards for a touchdown. Three plays after Westside recovered an onside kick, Vaughn scored on a 4-yard run. The Patriots led 20-0.
Coming off a 55-0 loss to Burke County the previous week, Hephzibah (1-2) made a colossal mistake on its opening drive. With the Rebels down seven, Chris Hall appeared to complete a 40-yard pass to Darrell Baker, but a block in the back 20 yards behind the play was called a personal foul, a momentum-killing penalty. Instead of being on the Westside 24, Hephzibah attempted – and failed to convert – third down from its own 38. Hephzibah went on to post minus-five yards of offense in the first half.
“When you do stupid stuff like that, you give people a chance to jump on you,” Rebels coach John Bowen said. “We still have a lot of young kids that have to grow.”