Tevaughn Higgins has been starting at quarterback for Lower Richland since he was a freshman and had never won a region game until Friday night. The senior ran for more than 200 yards and threw for another 170 to lead the Diamonds to a 40-20 win against Chapin, their first region win since 2013.
“I haven’t won a region game since I’ve been here,” Higgins said. “We’ve been struggling but coach (Rodney) Barr came in and put in the motto ‘keep chopping’ and that’s what we’ve been doing. This feels good.”
Higgins, who missed last week’s loss to Dreher after suffering a concussion the week before, ran for three touchdowns – 49, 27 and 51 yards – and threw for two more. Lower Richland (3-5, 1-1 in Region 5-4A) led 7-6 at the half thanks to Higgins’ 49-yard touchdown run.
It didn’t take long for Higgins to get started in second half. He connected with Jamal Henderson for a 71-yard touchdown pass to set the tone for a 33-point second half.
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The Diamonds defense also came up huge in the second half. They limited Chapin (5-3, 2-1) to one offensive touchdown and forced four second half turnovers. The final turnover came when Ben Jackson forced a fumble and Malich Jacobs scooped up the loose ball and raced 63 yards to seal the win.
“I’m just excited for the kids,” Barr said. “It’s been a topsy-turvy season. We lost two in a row, won two in a row then lost three in a row. But we got a big region win tonight and want to build on it.”
Tevaughn Higgins: The senior ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries and was 8-of-14 passing for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Danique Smith: His interception at the goal line in the third quarter stopped Chapin from tying the score or taking the lead if they would have made the extra point.
20: Lower Richland turned the four Chapin turnovers into 20 points, which ended up being the difference.
THEY SAID IT
“When Higgins plays well, we play well. He’s our leader. If he can continue that moving forward, no telling what can happen the rest of the season.” – Barr
“Higgins is a heck of a football player. He caught us in our weakness. He was able to get on the corner and shake us and get to the end zone.” – Chapin Coach Justin Gentry
HOW THEY SCORED
C – Roger Pedroni 1 run (kick failed) 7:36
LR – Tevaughn Higgins 49 run (Cedric Adams kick) 1:22
LR – Jamal Henderson 71 pass from Higgins (kick failed) 11:39
LR – Higgins 27 run (Adams kick) 7:12
C – Xzavion Gordon 75 kickoff return (Sailor Chason kick) 6:55
LR – Trent Higgins 30 pass from Tevaughn Higgins (kick failed) 11:52
C – Kareem Bowers 3 run (Chason kick) 6:33
LR – Tevaughn Higgins 51 run (Adams kick) 3:06
LR – Malich Jacobs 63 fumble return (Adams kick) 1:30
Rushing: C: Taison Thomas 9-50, Case Barber 4-5, Mark Shealy 8-16, Roger Pedroni 19-57, Kareem Bowers 3-6. LR: Tevaughn Higgins 16-213, Tyler Singleton 14-27, Keyshawn Capers 2-8.
Passing: C: Pedroni 15-25-1-108, R. Gordon 4-7-1-35 LR: Higgins 8-14-0-170.
Receiving: C: Kareem Bowers 5-50, Xzavion Gordon 4-15, Barber 6-59, Thomas 2-(-1), Jason Graves 2-20. LR: Trent Higgins 3-49, Xavier Hopkins 1-7, Jamal Henderson 2-76, Karl Scott 2-38.