NORTH AUGUSTA — North Augusta scored early and often for one of its largest margins of victory in the history of a long series.
The Yellow Jackets scored 34 first-half points en route to a 40-14 win over Lexington on Friday night in the Jackets Nest.
No. 5 North Augusta (3-0) posted one of the most lopsided victories in the history of the series that dates back decades. Its most recent rout of the former region rival came in 2012 at 44-6, and the annual matchup is usually billed as a close and dramatic one.
The victory marked the Yellow Jackets’ first against Lexington (3-1) since 2014 as they rolled to a third consecutive win to open the season. They previously scored 40 and 35 points in wins over Lakeside and Evans.
DeJuan Bell was the catalyst for North Augusta, totaling three receiving touchdowns and two interceptions. He recorded five catches for 96 yards for one of the senior standout’s best games.
Bell and North Augusta quarterback Landon Washington keyed the offense through the air with three touchdown connections. Washington went 14 for 20 for 207 yards and added two rushing scores, while fellow senior Derius Gibson added 139 rushing yards and a score on just 17 carries.
After multiple three-and-out drives for both sides, North Augusta started the scoring at 7:39 in the first quarter when a Bell punt return set up a one-yard touchdown run by Washington.
The Yellow Jackets proceeded to score 28 unanswered points between the first two quarters. Washington added a 10-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead entering the second.
Gibson scored on a 29-yard run early in the second to reach 21-0, and Washington threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Bell at 10:01 for the 28-point lead.
Lexington moved to a hurry-up offense midway through the second quarter with positive results, capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Chase Crouch to snap the shutout. Washington found Bell on a 26-yard pass just before the half for a 34-7 North Augusta lead at the break.
North Augusta added its final score in the third quarter when Washington found Bell for an eight-yard pass at the 8:00 mark. Lexington picked up a late fumble in North Augusta territory and turned it into points when Akeem Nicholas ran in from 13 yards with 57 seconds left in the game.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216