Norris, Lexington run past Blythewood 35-14

LEXINGTON – When a team has a bullying running back behind a strong offensive line, there’s almost nothing that can stand in the way.

The Lexington football team committed 17 penalties for 165 yards against Blythewood Friday night at the Wildcat Den. Those setbacks didn’t phase Jonah Norris, who pounded his way past Bengal defenders to the tune of 337 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 35-14 victory.

Norris, who rushed for 328 yards and five scores against South Aiken just the week before, had long runs of 36, 53, 82, and 67 yards against the Bengals.

Blythewood struggled to run against a Lexington defense that held the Bengals (2-2) to 16 rushing yards on 18 attempts.

The Wildcats stout run defense also caused Blythewood to switch quarterbacks early on, from 6-footer David Herden to 6-3 junior Harrison Collins midway in the first half. Herden was 4-for-7 in passing for 40 yards.

“Tonight was one of those nights where we struggled to run it,” Blythewood head coach Jason Seidel said. “It was more of a Harrison night where we just wanted to get some more height in the pocket so he could see, because they brought some pressure. It was nothing David was doing wrong, but he was struggling to see some windows where Harrison could.”

Collins finished the night 13-for-25 for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but had two interceptions. Passing was all the offense the Bengals could muster Friday, but the two quarterbacks are a year older and better—and are injury free as opposed to last season.

“It’s nice to have two guys who can play,” Seidel said. “I love where we’re at, where if were at a place like this, we’ve got a guy to handle that.”

Collins helped put the Bengals on the scoreboard Friday, but Norris and the Wildcats proved too tough to tame.

“Big plays,” head coach Perry Woolbright said of Norris, a 5-11, 200-pound senior. “You’ve got to have some big plays, and you’ve got to have some guys who can make big plays. In our region (Region 4-5A) we’re just not going to have 12-play drives. We’ve got to have big plays and we were able to do that tonight.”

Midway into the first quarter, Norris fired up the Lexington offense with a 53-yard run that set up the Wildcats’ first score. Quarterback Taiden Mines closed out the 4-play 69-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run.

Lexington (3-1) went up 14-0 by the 2:30 mark of the first quarter on Norris’ second big run of the evening, an 82-yard touchdown scamper.

From that point, penalties and a costly fumble slowed down the Wildcats and gave Blythewood some opportunities.

The Bengals converted a fumble recovery at the Lexington 20-yard line into a 24-yard Collins-to-Nate Rabon TD pass at the 7:21 mark of the second quarter.

Blythewood went into a 2-minute drill just before the half. Collins worked the offense from its own 8-yard line down to a second score. He went 7-for-7 in passing on that 92-yard scoring drive, including the game-tying 5-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gary with 1:24 left in the half.

Norris finished the first half with 211 yards on 13 carries in the first half, but Lexington committed 10 penalties for 85 yards in that time.

Those miscues were the topic of intermission, Woolbright said.

“We played with great effort and we played with toughness, but we just made too many mistakes,” Woolbright said. “We jumped offsides, we had several holding calls on big runs that killed us. We cleaned that up in the second half and that really helped us.”

The Wildcats had seven second-half penalties that cost them 80 yards, but those flags didn’t cost them any opportunities. They went on three scoring drives and ate up the clock thanks to Norris’ running and timely defense that got going at the start of the second half.

Blythewood looked to keep momentum going in their direction at the start of the third quarter. The Bengals took the opening kickoff, but Lexington’s Chris Frye intercepted a Collins pass on the fourth play of the possession.

That pick, along with several other plays in the game, blunted the Blythewood attack, Seidel said.

“We were just talking about that,” he said after coming out of the locker room. “There were maybe three to five plays that just flipped the momentum. That was a great team (Lexington). That pick hurt us, and then it was fourth-and-forever and that kid (Mines) threw a fade into the end zone.”

The Wildcats and the Bengals spent most of the third quarter battling it out among turnovers on downs and penalties. Another long Norris run, this one 67 yards, broke the stalemate and set up Mines’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Kamadi Maxwell with 16 seconds left in the third.

On Blythewood’s next possession Brayden Woolbright picked off a Collins pass and ran it 40 plus yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that return was called back because of a block-in-the-back penalty.

No big deal for Lexington when Norris is positioned in the backfield. The Wildcats started at the Blythewood 41 and four plays later Norris plowed into the end zone to make it 28-14.

Mines connected with Maxwell again in the fourth quarter, this time for a 67-yard touchdown at the 6:28 mark of the fourth.

Tyler Walker replaced Norris by then and helped the Wildcats run out the clock and chalk up their third win of the season.

For Blythewood, which goes on the road to face Goose Creek (0-3) Friday, the Lexington game was a chance to play many of the younger players.

“We played a lot of guys tonight, because we talked about our goal being Region (3-5A),” Seidel said. “We need to start repping and getting more depth, so we played a lot of sophomores. I told them, no excuses, let’s go. I’m proud of the kids. They were gassed at the end, and they were tired, but they just kept fighting.”

The Gators lost a tough one on the road Friday, a 6-0 loss at Beaufort.

“We’ve got a tough one to go on the road, it’s going to be a challenge,” Seidel said. “Every year we try to find a team that we can travel to because you never know when that could happen in the playoffs.”

Lexington plays host to Gilbert Friday. The Indians (3-0) leveled Pelion (3-1) 56-3 Friday.

Blythewood – 0-14-0-0 — 14  

Lexington – 14-0-7-14 — 35   

First Quarter      

L –  Taiden Mines 20 run (Tyler Chavis kick) 3:45

L – Jonah Norris 82 run (Chavis kick) 2:30

Second Quarter      

B –  Nate Rabon 24 pass from Harrison Collins (Ryan Hart kick) 7:21

B – Josh Gary 5 pass from Collins (Hart kick) 1:24

Third Quarter     

L – Kamadi Maxwell 24 pass from Mines (Chavis kick) :16 

Fourth Quarter      

L –  Norris 12 run (Chavis kick) 11:11

L –  Maxwell 67 pass from Mines (Chavis kick) 6:28

                                              BHS               LHS 

First Downs                        14                   18   

Rushes-Yards                     18-16            32-389     

Passing Yards                     176                 145     

Att-Com-Int                        32-17-2        16-8-0     

Fumbles-Lost                      1-0                 1-1     

Penalties-Yards                 9-60               17-165     

Punts-Avg   3-38.0           2-42.5     


RUSHING: Blythewood – Josh Gary 2-3, David Herden 1-0, Anthony Thurman 4-6, Harrison Collins 6-(-1), Team 1-2. Lexington – Jonah Norris 25-339, Tyler Walker 7-37, Taiden Mines 4-13. 

PASSING: Blythewood – Harrison Collins 13-25-2, David Herden 4-7-0. Lexington – Taiden Mines 8-16-0

RECEIVING: Blythewood – Nate Rabon 5-59, Deon Tyler 4-31, Josh Gary 4-58, Chris Thomas 3-33. Lexington – Kamadi Maxwell 5-116, Brandon Cromer 2-17, Taylor Floyd 1-8.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]