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Lancaster kicks its way past Demons

Takes home 27-24 win

Posted: September 25, 2017 4:25 p.m.
Updated: September 26, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy goflashwin.com/

L-E FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK Will Morris threw for 90 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s loss to Lancaster.

Close, but no cigar. 

Lugoff-Elgin came up short at home Friday to the Lancaster Bruins, 27-24, in the final tune-up before the hosts kick off Region 6-4A play on Friday with Lakewood coming to L-E Stadium.

A fourth quarter drive by the Bruins (2-3) capped off by a Jacob Cato field goal made it a two-score game with two minutes left to play. The Demons (3-3) got a late score but failed to secure the onside kick and came out on the short end of the three-point loss. 

L-E head football coach Matt Campbell was frustrated after this one. 

“We played hard but waited too long to react. We shouldn’t have reacted so much ... we needed to do something to react to us,” he said. “I’ve said this before but we need to be the thermostat, not the thermometer. We were the thermometer, again, tonight.”

It was a high-scoring second half compared to the first 24 minutes. Lancaster held a 10-7 edge at the halftime break. The L-E defense did a good job of limiting the big play but the offense had trouble punching it in. The Demons crossed the midfield stripe twice but failed to do much once there. 

Lancaster, however, received a 38-yard Cato field goal and capped off a 14-play 80-yard drive to with a five-yard yard touchdown run to go up 10-0 in the second quarter. 

The Bruins did not do anything fancy on offense. They ran the option behind a big, physical quarterback in Kemarkio Cloud who stands better than six-feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds. But it was more than that as to why the visitors were successful. 

“They had a huge offensive line,” Campbell said of Bobby Collins’ front five. “They have a big quarterback and good backs and they just pounded us all night. We didn’t tackle very well. That’s something we are going to have to put emphasis on. They are very similar to us in that structure; run first and pass if you need too “ 

The Demons would respond to the first LHS touchdown with a 65-yard scoring march of their own. 

After freshman quarterback Will Morris had the wind knocked out of him, do-it-all utility man Chandler Price came in and, on his third play from behind center, connected with Tyquinton House for a 28-yard touchdown score to bring the Demons within three heading into the break. 

 “He (Morris) got the wind knocked out of him and fortunately we got Chandler Price. He’s Mr. Everything; from tight end, receiver, quarterback and long snapper,” Campbell said of the senior. “He is so solid that when you call his number, he’s ready to go and produce.” 

It was also a plus to see House make a touchdown grab. The 6-foot-2 senior has been a project of sorts for Campbell in the offseason. 

“He did a great job and worked hard,” Campbell said of House. “Over the summer, he really grew as a player. What hurt him was not playing last year and not having continuity. He went through a little bit where he lost his confidence but he’s gaining that back. 

“A performance like tonight is going to help move him forward. If we can get someone else out there opposite Gatlin (Lawson) to give us a deep threat like him, that’s huge for us.”

L-E started strong in the second half by taking advantage of a Bruin turnover. A forced fumble led to the Demons taking their first and only lead of the game as Tyler Dixon snuck it in for a one-yard touchdown scoring. The freshman tailback had another stellar night, amassing 175 yards on 16 carries. 

“He is going to make a good offensive line,” Campbell said of Dixon and his talents. “He took some hits and had some plays where the blocking was mediocre and he got some positive yards on it. When our line does what they’re supposed to do, watch out because he is electric when he gets in space.” 

The two sides would go back and forth on scores as the Bruins got a touchdown to go back up by three and the Demons could only muster a 20-yard field goal from freshman Alex Bowers to tie it at 17. 

The Lancaster offense started to wear down on L-E as they kept pushing the Demon defensive line for five yards or, more, per carry. 

“That’s hard,” Campbell said of the effect from the push which LHS received from its front line. “They get five yards a carry and keep getting first downs and they are holding time of possession by keeping our offense off the field. 

“You got guys out there on defense for a long period of time and it wears down on you each time they have it.”

With the Bruins holding the 24-17 advantage, the Demons had a chance to go down and tie the game but a three and out gave it right back to the visitors. With the game hanging in the balance, LHS produced a methodical 12-play, 67-yard goal to go up by 10, 27-17, while leaving just two minutes on the clock. 

Campbell said the field goal which gave the guests a double-digit lead was a backbreaker given the Demons had only two minutes with which to work.

“They’re going down and you knew the ball wasn’t going touch the air for them unless it was a toss or pitch, so they ran it and pounded it,” Campbell said of the Bruins’ drive which ended with a field goal.

“They forced us to use our time outs when they moved it into our territory. They kicked that field goal and converted it to a two-score game. When you’re hoping to score a touchdown, get the onside kick and score again, it’s a tough to near-impossible task in that little of time.” 

Trailing 27-17, the Demons would add a late score as Morris found House for the junior wide out’s second touchdown reception of the game. 

The ensuing onside kick failed as Lancaster ran out the clock. 

With the Demons at .500 at the end of the non-conference season, they are a team looking for consistency. They have gotten off to slow starts but have shown flashes of what they can do in the second halves of ball games. Campbell is just looking to put four full quarters of football together.

“I talked to them about the first six games,” he said. “Here we are at 3-3 and our inconsistency has killed us. In three games, we were fortunate enough to come out on top and three games we weren’t.  Inconsistency has hurt us but we just have not played a full game yet. I don’t think anyone will disagree. 

“(This) week we are 0-0 and the next few weeks will be crucial if we make the playoffs again. We have to focus on Lakewood and try to get that win.”

Demon Doings: Unofficially, Lancaster had more than 305 yards rushing in the win. Four Bruins had at least 50 yards rushing including quarterback Kemarkio Cloud who led the way with 101 … The Demons were led by Dixon with 176 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown … Morris was six of 10 passing for 90 yards and a touchdown … L-E had just nine first downs to 16 for Lancaster … The Demons won the turnover battle, again, as they forced two and did not commit any … On defense, Reddek Kelley, Cam Payne, and Tyrik Richardson all had seven tackles for the Demons while Brandon Stevenson chipped in with two for loss of yardage.

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