Blythewood might be banged up, with the loss of a starting center and two quarterbacks. But Irmo felt its first loss of the season at Richland District 2 Stadium on Thursday night.
Without quarterbacks Quenton Patten and Quentin Singleton, Blythewood relied on the solid running of Chris Woodall and Jaylon Boyd to run down the Yellow Jackets in a 21-7 victory in the Region 5-5A opener for both teams.
Lining up in an array of wildcat and hammer backfield formations, Blythewood (3-2) didn’t get cute on offense.
“Our game plan was to be more physical and protect the ball, and we did a great job,” Blythewood coach Brian Smith said. “Our defense is one of the better defenses in the state, and tonight was no different. They played lights out.”
Woodall and Boyd took turns or exchanged series lining up under center, taking the ball after the snap and running into Irmo defenders. Boyd had 162 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 38 carries. Woodall carried 23 times for 146 yards.
“Me and Chris (Woodall), I’m the thunder and he’s the lightning,” Boyd said. “I hit hard, and he strikes. But it’s a team effort. I thank my O-line.”
The Bengals defense hemmed in the Yellow Jackets (4-1) in the first half, giving up 147 total yards. Irmo finished the night with 155 passing yards, but minus-8 yards rushing.
After having its first drive stumble with a blocked 24-yard field goal attempt, Blythewood regrouped with an eight-play, 52-yard scoring drive capped with a 6-yard Boyd TD run with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
Jaydon Brunson’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the second, and Brady Carson’s 1-yard dive into the end zone 2:44 before the half gave Blythewood a 21-0 lead.
Irmo’s only highlight came in the second half, when Raekwon Heath pulled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from John Ragin midway through the third quarter.
Blythewood, which controlled the football for 32 minutes of the game, shut down the Yellow Jackets in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Minus-18: Rushing yards for Irmo in the first half, on 18 attempts. Blythewood piled up 181 rushing yards on 33 carries
4: Sacks by Blythewood in the first half. Jack Monroe and Patrick Godbolt had 1.5 sacks, and Deron Epps had one.
THEY SAID IT
“We became a team finally. A disciplined team. We wanted to come out to prove that we could be a team. Our guys rallied. Their backs were against the wall and they came out swinging, and they never let up.” – Blythewood coach Brian Smith
“They did a great job and had a great game plan. They whipped us on both sides of the football. I knew they were a dangerous football team. They won some games but had a lot of injuries.” – Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy
HOW THEY SCORED
B – Jaylon Boyd 6 run (Miles Heitman kick), 1:13
B – Jaydon Brunson 65 punt return (Heitman kick), 8:40
B – Brady Carson 1 run (Heitman kick), 2:44
I – Raekwon Heath 27 pass from John Ragin (James Dooley kick), 7:12
Rushing: I: Kendrell Flowers 11-41, Devante Richardson1-0, John Ragin 10-(-27). B: Chris Woodall 23-146, Jaylon Boyd 38-162, Jaydon Brunson 1-2, Corey Williams 1-1, Brady Carson 1-1.
Passing: I: John Ragin 11-18-0. B: Davion Blackwell 0-1-1, Chris Woodall 0-2-0.
Receiving: I. Devante Richardson 3-21, Raekwon Heath 6-71. Kendrell Flowers 3-43, Hasuan Rivers 1-41. B: 0.