In a rematch of the 2012 South Carolina Independent School Association Class AAA championship game, which Augusta Christian won 21-14, Hammond jumped all over the Lions early and never looked back, winning easily 49-26.
The Skyhawks rushed for 304 yards and five touchdowns, mostly in the first half, as they built a 42-6 advantage. T.J. Brady did the majority of the damage, rushing 14 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the half.
The Skyhawks also picked off Matthew Peavler twice in the first quarter which led to scores, including a leaping, one-handed grab by Doak Fisher who returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.
The Lions (2-6, 2-5 SCISA) entered tied with Ben Lippen for the eighth and final playoff spot and can advance to the playoffs with a win in their final regular season game at Heathwood Hall.
“Next week is huge,” saidAugusta Christian head coach Keith Walton He added that the Lions have been fighting the injury bug all season and that Friday night was no exception. “It's motivation for them because they feel so beaten up and that's a little different than where we've been in the past.”
Senior running back Thomas Banks was bottled up early, but started coming on midway through the second quarter, finishing the game with 19 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a six-yard pass from Peavler for Augusta Christian’s first score. While they scored three second-half touchdowns, Banks knows the Lions have to do better much sooner.
“We have to come out going hard throughout the whole game, not when we're down and try to fight back” said Banks, who missed games earlier in the year with a hamstring injury. “It's good to have that fight-back spirit, but you have to have it coming out too because we have so much potential.”