AIKEN -- Aiken fought off one rain storm Monday night, but it couldn't recover from the damage Lexington sophomore running back Demetrius Summers caused.
In a bizarre affair, Lexington (4-1, 1-0) held off Aiken 28-26 after a 40- minute stoppage of play due to heavy rains, thunder and lightning. The hyped matchup between Region 3-AAAA's top two squads already had been postponed from Friday due to the weather.
With one minute left in the second quarter, officials stopped the game and fans began exiting the stands. The Hornets (4-1, 0-1) were set to attempt an extra point kick after Aaron Epps plunged in from 2 yards out to cut the Wildcats' lead to21-20.
Aiken's attempt at the extra point after the intermission failed.
Summers, who ran for 191 yards for the Hornets last season as a freshman, didn't disappoint, piling up 276 yards rushing on just 13 carries.
The sophomore scored on runs of 71, 80 and 42 yards. His 42-yard scamper in the third quarter gave Lexington a 28-20 advantage.
"That's the main thing we talked about all last week," Aiken coach Carey Johnson said of Summers' antics. "We didn't want to give up the big play. And we did. He's a great running back. He did a great job of cutting back and making us miss. But we should know how to tackle. Our offense did a good job of keeping us in the game."
After quarterback Kris Clark rolled off a 13-yard run in the first quarter, Aiken's Antwan Smith gave the Hornets a boost with a 20-yard touchdown on an inside reverse to even the score at 7-7.
Summers answered quickly with a 71-yard score on Lexington's next drive to help his squad reclaim the lead.
But Aiken didn't succumb easily. On the Hornets' next drive, Aiken quarterback Corey Ready found Brian Staley in the corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown, tying the score at 14-14.
After Aiken recovered a Summers fumble deep in Lexington territory, Ready scored on a 1-yard keeper with 7:38 left in the game to cut the lead to two. Smith then was wrapped up for a loss on the extra point attempt, leaving the Wildcats ahead 28-26.
The Wildcats' defense hurried Ready three times and sacked the senior five times. Ready finished the night completing 4 of 12 passes for 124 yards. Smith was Aiken's leading rusher with 43 yards on nine carries. Johnson wasn't quick to blame the weather for his team's struggles.
"That's a part of football," he said. "If we get a chance at the extra point before the rain, maybe we get it. Who knows? I don't know if the weather had as much to do with our passing game as the protection did. We've just got to get better, that's all. We've got to learn from our mistakes."
Patrick Green at (803) 648-1395.
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