Lexington and River Bluff proved a little bit about themselves Friday night at Lexington. In a well-played contest in front of about 8,000 fans, Brandon Blake threw for three touchdowns and Christian Kingsley kicked two field goals to propel the seventh-ranked Wildcats to a thrilling 27-24 victory.
Both teams missed opportunities but in the end it was the play-making efforts of the Lexington skill players that proved to be the difference.
Tyler Schadewald opened things with an 80-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the game. He went up over the defender to make the catch then waltzed the final 40 yards untouched for the score.
Lexington opened a 10-0 lead but River Bluff got a field goal from Justin Salters and a 4-yard scoring run by Ti’Juan Glenn to tie it. Schadewald added an 18-yard touchdown catch. The Gators (6-2, 1-1) tied it on a 37-yard pass from Brandon Tillmon to Josh Senter.
Kinsley gave the Wildcats (7-1, 2-0 in Region 5-4A) the lead with a 46-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining in the half.
Lexington led 20-17 early in the fourth quarter when it got a stop in its territory. The Wildcats recorded two straight tackles for loss to force a punt. They went on a 10-play, 82-yard drive to score the decisive score. They never faced a third down and scored on a 15-yard pass from Blake to Jayson Hopper with 7:00 remaining.
Brandon Blake: The senior QB went 16-for-28 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, he didn’t have a turnover.
Tyler Schadewald: The senior WR finished with 4 catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on an 80-yard pass on the first play and added an 18-yard score later in quarter.
Slade Carroll: The senior RB finished with 158 yards on 23 carries. He didn’t score but did a lot to eat time off the clock.
Brandon Tillmon: The senior finished with 84 yards rushing with a touchdown and 188 yards passing and a score.
4: In two meetings between the Lexington County rivals, Lexington has won both by a combined four points. .
1: Lexington only punted once in the game.
0: Number of turnovers in the game.
7: Consecutive wins by Lexington
THEY SAID IT
“Both sides played really well. Both sides have great kids and great coaches. We knew it was going to be like this and we were fortunate to make the plays down the stretch to win. ” – Lexington coach Josh Stepp
“Our receivers are a special group. You can call out five or six names and those kids can go and get it. We didn’t play our best offensively but when we had to put drives together we were able to do that. That 82-yard drive was the difference.” – Stepp
“Another great game with those guys. They do a great job and our coaches did a great job. We had our chances to win the ball game. We missed several opportunities but I’m very proud of these kids for fighting. We’ll sulk tomorrow and get focused on North Augusta” – River Bluff coach David Bennett
HOW THEY SCORED
L – Tyler Schadewald 80 pass from Brandon Blake (Christian Kinsley kick) 11:46
L – Kinsley 27 Field Goal 2:01
RB – Justin Salters 44 Field Goal 9:17
RB – Ti’Juan Glenn 4 run (Salters kick) 7:53
L – Schadewald 18 pass from Blake (Kinsley kick) 4:17
RB – Josh Senter 37 pass from Brandon Tillmon (Salters kick) 2:23
L – Kinsley 46 Field Goal 0:32
L – Jayson Hopper 15 pass from Blake (Kinsley kick) 7:00
RB – Tillmon 8 run (Salters kick) 4:01
Rushing: RB – Brandon Tillmon 19-84, Austin Pollard 9-46, Ti’Juan Glenn 8-20, Davon Johnson 3-15, Team 1-0. L – Slade Carroll 23-158, Brandon Blake 3-(-5), Ervin Greene 3-3, Team 2-0.
Passing: RB – Tillmon 13-23-0-188, Johnson 0-1-0-0, Salters 0-1-0-0. L – Blake 16-28-0-264, Jayson Hopper 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: RB – Stephen Kight 5-80, Davon Johnson 3-41, Josh Senter 1-37, Pollard 2-17, Adam Wallace 1-7, Grant Connell 1-6. L – Tyler Schadewald 4-131, Jayson Hopper 4-52, Daiquan Wells 5-57, Oscar Ferguson 2-18, Jason Rumph 1-10, Ervin Green 1-6.