Lower Richland opened Region 4-3A play on Thursday with a dominating performance in a 32-21 win over previously unbeaten Dreher at Memorial Stadium.
The final score does not convey the lopsided nature of the game.
“When we play hard and we play with passion like this, we can be hard to beat,” first-year Lower Richland coach Darryl Page said. “We’ve been working toward putting it together on both sides of the ball, and we did for the most part tonight. I didn’t become the coach here until July 10, so it’s taken a little time to develop some understanding and some trust.”
There were two key factors in Lower Richland’s surprisingly lopsided victory.
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One was the play of senior Marcus Edmond, who was 8-of-12 passing for 213 yards and four touchdowns and posted two interceptions on defense. The other was a stellar outing by Shine Bowl candidate Alonzo Gibson and the rest of the Diamond Hornets’ defensive line, which shut down the Blue Devils’ running game.
“We believe that games are won on the line of scrimmage, and I felt we won the battle up front,” Page said. “Marcus was very efficient. He knew where he was going with the ball and just directed the offense well.”
Edmond hit four different receivers for touchdowns, beginning with a 64-yard strike to Joshua Cofield to open the scoring in the first quarter. He later found tight end Cedric Davis in the second quarter, Devanta Hampton in the third and Jontrul Jackson in the fourth.
“We came to play tonight, executed the offense,” Edmond said. “Defensively, we’re getting better every game.”
Lower Richland (2-4) held Dreher to 47 yards in the first half on the way to a 20-0 halftime lead, which grew to 32-7 before the Hornets eased off the gas in the fourth quarter.
“The region season is a new opportunity, and we got it done tonight,” said Page, whose team went 1-4 in non-region play. “Hopefully, this will be a big step forward for us.”
Dreher (5-1) had posted its best start in 15 years. The Blue Devils had 183 yards passing but finished with 41 yards rushing on 28 attempts against Lower Richland’s big, active defensive front.
LR - Joshua Cofield 64 pass from Marcus Edmond (pass failed), 7:39
LR – Heath Gilmore 2 run (pass failed), 7:06
LR – Cedric Davis 36 pass from Edmond (Jontrul Jackson pass from Edmond) 3:33
D – Tyrek Outler 4 run (Wesley Mousseau kick), 5:46
LR – Devanta Hampton 22 pass from Edmond (run failed), 2:07
LR – Jackson 6 pass from Edmond (pass failed), 9:28
D – Bradford Lemmons 40 pass from Hakim Frazier (Mousseau kick), 8:26
D – Willie Reed 6 run (Mousseau kick), 2:37
Rushing: LR, Gilmore 14-48, Minder 14-45, Edmond 6-(-8). D, Frazier 14-25, Corbin 6-10, Outler 4-(-1), Reed 3-7.
Passing: LR, Edmond 8-12-0-213. D, Frazier 16-27-2-183.
Receiving: LR, Cofield 1-64, Barber 1-22, Davis 1-36, Jackson 3-53, Hampton 3-38. D, Outler 6-41, Reed 4-58, Lemmons 5-73, Drayton 1-11.