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Falcons soar past Lugoff-Elgin, 51-13

Posted: September 1, 2012 2:50 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Losing like this is a hard pill to swallow.
When nothing goes right for one team and everything goes well for the opposition, it’s like an avalanche slowly building toward you at the end of a cliff.
That was the feeling Friday night as visiting Nation Ford defeated Lugoff-Elgin in the Demons’ home opener, 51-13.
 The Falcons scored on the first drive of the game and never looked back executing to near-perfection on both sides of the ball. For the Demons, it was nearly the opposite as miscues and errors haunted the home team.
Words were hard to come by from L-E head coach Scott Jones after his team’s second loss in as many starts.
 “We are not very good right now and it’s real obvious,” he said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. It’s hard to put into words to make it better. I think our guys are trying hard but right now; it’s not very good.
“This is real difficult when you get beat like this and it’s easy to point fingers, but we’re just not consistent on either side of the ball right now.”
The team that was consistent was the visiting Falcons (2-1) who have only been in existence since 2007. This is an offense with firepower, speed, and it was all executed on timing. In order to counter that, L-E went back to its familiar Wing-T set offense to slow down the tempo and keep the opposing offense off the field. It had a few moments of effectiveness, but the line play and production still seems to be a work in progress.
“I thought we had some moments. But we just made stupid penalties or fumbled,” Jones said. “Those are things that you just can’t do. I think it’s actually safe to say that our offense is ahead of our defense. We’ve got to gel there some to keep the ball out of other people’s hands.”
The game actually started by some trickery by the special teams. The Demons deferred on the coin toss and went for the onside kick. It was well-executed by Robert Frame but the Demons special teams unit was unable to recover giving the ball to the Falcons at midfield. Ten plays later, the Falcons struck first with a three-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dalton Helms to his big 6-foot-3 target Riley Hilton. Pass plays of 11, 17, and 15 yards led the Falcons down the field. Helms was efficient early and often in this game. And just like that, Nation Ford was up 7-0 in the early going.
After a quick three-and-out, the Falcons received a 40-yard punt return by DiJuan Ussery down to the L-E one yard line that led to an easy score and two touchdown, 14-0, lead.
The Demons would get on the board gaining a little momentum but it came on a desperation play.
On a fourth and 16 at the NF 37, quarterback Shon Belton dropped back, rolled to his right and threw a dart to his wide open receiver Derrick Miller in the corner of the end zone. There was no one within 20 yards of Miller on the play. Jones saw something in the defense that he was able to exploit and it was a touchdown for L-E which cut the lead in half at 14-7.
Then, on the ensuing kickoff, L-E woul try the onside kick yet again and getting the same result as the first; failing to recover.
The Falcons marched 54 yards, capped off by Helms finding Hilton again on a fade where the receiver just jumped up and brought it down by sheer force in a crowd of defenders for a 21-7 lead.
Jones said his team practiced the onside attempts the week of the game in practice.
“We had seen some things that they were doing. That first onside attempt was one of the best I’ve ever seen but we just didn’t recover it,” Jones said. “Robert (Frame) did a great job. I thought that would have been a momentum-changer (had L-E recovered the kick.)”
The Falcons would go into halftime with a 28-7 lead after a 25-yard scoring strike from Helms-to-A.K. McCoy down the middle of the field for a wide open pass play. It was the fourth touchdown pass for the Falcons.
Later, Jones said that he was not happy with his young secondary on this night.
“Without looking at the film,” he said, “it just seems our secondary is afraid to make a play. And that was unfortunate because going into the season we thought that this would be a strong point in our defense.
“I’m not blaming those guys but we have to make more plays. That goes back to coaching. We have to do a better job and put them in positions and make sure someone can do it.”
Belton did his best to lead the offense for L-E but that avalanche of mistakes was too tough to overcome.
“Shon made some great throws but we dropped passes. And it’s sad that it’s against him statistically but you just have to make plays,” Jones said. “I’m not mad at the kids or upset with them, but I need to make them aware that this is not how we should be playing the game. I have to figure this out, and our coaches have to work a little harder and we’ll do that. Hopefully these guys will heal up a little bit. Our pride hurts more than our bodies tonight.”
The second half saw Nation Ford put together a few more scoring drives and more of the same by their impressive offensive showing. The L-E defense just had trouble getting any sort of read on the “Fun and Gun” type attack by the Falcons. “
Defensively,” Jones said, “right now, our goal is to make somebody punt. And, right now, we have not done that and that’s got to be a record here. I can’t remember stretch since I’ve been here where that’s happened. We have forced some third and long plays but didn’t make the plays or stops.”
A 40-yard touchdown toss late in the third stanza gave Helms his fifth touchdown of the night and Nation Ford a comfortable 41-7 lead. Two scoring runs and a fourth quarter field goal pushed the total to 51 points for the visitors.
The L-E offense would get on the board late in the fourth quarter which was led by Javonne Byrd getting some playing time. The senior tailback scored from two yards out, capping off a drive in which he carried it 10 times for 52 yards. The score, which ended with a failed two point conversion attempt, came with 22 seconds left on the clock to  make it 51-13.
Later, Jones was still disappointed in the drops and lack of execution. But, overall, he is disappointed with how the other intangibles factor into the program.
“I just feel bad for our community,” he said. “Right now in Kershaw County, we are going through a cycle. That’s what it is. We don’t recruit our players; we get what we are blessed with and have some young guys playing early.
“This is still a great place to be and play but its long season to go, you just have to go to the drawing board and try to fix it.”

 Demon Doings: It was “Joey Dorton Night” at Lugoff -Elgin Stadium on Friday. The Demons honored the former supporter and friend who lost his life tragically in an automobile accident in early August. It was a solid crowd on hand with Dorton’s immediate family, Kershaw County School Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan, and L-E Principal Tommy Gladden taking part in a ceremony at halftime … Helms was efficient and accurate going 17-of-27 for 254 passing yards and five scoring tosses. His two favorite targets were very active as McCoy caught seven balls for 121 yards with Hilton catching three passes for three scores … L-E only attempted four passes and keeping it on the ground for the rest of their offensive output … Seven Demon backs combined for 195 yards with Byrd having 52 of those yards ... Tyreek Kirkland led the hosts in tackles with eight, along with breaking up a pass … Both teams had 15 first downs each … NF was penalized seven times for 39 yards while L-E got flagged five times for 33 yards.

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