Lugoff-Elgin bests Redhawks

Westwood crowned their Homecoming court during Friday’s Game. Pictured from left: Marcella Benjamin, Jaslyn Simpkins, Alexis Akins, Taukedrik TK Roberts (king), Jayden Crews (Prince), Jaylen Johnson (Princess), Anna Graves (Queen) | @WHS_Redhawks

BLYTHEWOOD – Few people had the opportunity to take a look at two 1-5 teams fighting for survival in Region 5-4A Friday night.

That night, defending SCISA 4A state champion Hammond handed Cardinal Newman its first loss of the season, unbeaten White Knoll held off defending 5A state champion Dutch Fork, and Region 5-4A leader Irmo obliterated Ridge View 38-6.

While those and other games played out, Westwood and Lugoff-Elgin battled it out for their first region victory. With two second-half scores, Lugoff-Elgin scored two second-half touchdowns to rally past the Redhawks 14-6 on Westwood’s homecoming night.

It was a frustrating end for the Redhawks (1-6, 0-2), who ran the ball steadily in the first half but the Lugoff-Elgin defense shut them down throughout the third and fourth quarters.

“In pretty much all our games, we’re right there, we’ve just got to finish,”  Westwood head coach O’Connell said. “We’ve got to keep looking for ways to get better. We’ve got to keep working.”

Lugoff-Elgin’s offense wasn’t much better, running steadily but giving up three turnovers.

“Both halves were frustrating offensively, but I thought our defense played their tails off,” Lugoff-Elgin head coach Matt Campbell said. “I don’t know how many times we got inside the 25-yard line going in but we were stellar playing defense on ourselves. If we capitalize on every opportunity we have, we’re a lot better team.”

Aiden Fitzgerald’s 43-yard TD pass play to Zion Tucker midway through the third quarter, followed by Ryikeez Brown’s 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth, were the only offensive highlights for the Demons (2-5, 1-1).

It’s the lowlights that concerned Campbell.

Lugoff-Elgin fumbled the ball four times and lost it twice, and threw an interception that led to Westwood’s only score of the game in the second quarter. Westwood’s Justin Washington intercepted a Fitzgerald pass and set the Redhawks at the 27-yard line. Antwan Nelson carried the ball six times on that short drive, his final carry being a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Redhawks a 6-0 lead. 

The Demons’ defense pretty much made those errors fade away. Lugoff-Elgin sacked Westwood quarterback Carrington Carter four times, held the Redhawks to eight first downs, and forced five punts and four turnovers on downs.

On top of all of that, the Demons limited Westwood to 87 total yards. The Redhawks, who a week before rushed for more than 300 yards in a 36-33 region loss at A.C. Flora, had just 23 net rushing yards Friday night.

Much of Westwood’s lack of productivity had to do with an injury to running back Quentin McGill Jr. McGill, who had 163 yards and three scores at Flora the week before, had 25 rushing yards and two catches for five yards against the Demons before his injury. He left in the first half and did not return.

Nelson, who had 186 yards and two TDs at Flora, was left to bear the burden, and Lugoff-Elgin defenders zoomed in on him. Nelson finished with 31 yards on 19 carries.

“We had a couple of injuries offensively that put us behind the 8-ball at running back,” Westwood head coach Robert O’Connell said. “We had to shuffle some guys in there and that definitely hurt moving the ball. That made it tough.”

It gets tougher for both the Redhawks and the Demons next week. Westwood heads to Ridge View (6-2, 1-1), which is looking to get over its loss at Irmo.

Lugoff-Elgin plays host to Richland Northeast (4-3, 1-1). The Cavaliers won a wild one over A.C. Flora Friday, outscoring the Falcons 73-58.

Campbell said his team is poised to have a decent run in region play, provided they play better.

“I’m just trying to get better every week, and I’m proud of their effort” Campbell said. “They play hard all the time and when you’ve got kids playing hard, you can fix a lot of things.”

Lugoff-Elgin – 0-0-7-7 – 14

Westwood – 0-6-0-0 – 6

Second Quarter

W – Antwan Nelson 1 run (kick failed) 6:17

Third Quarter

L – Zion Tucker 43 pass from Aiden Fitzgerald (Eli Branham kick) 6:55

Fourth Quarter

L – Ryikeez Brown 12 run (Branham kick) 6:19 

                                                L-E                  WHS

First downs                          17                   8

Rushes-Yards                     41-158          31-23

Passing yards                      139                 64

Att-Com-Int                        23-13-1        21-6-1

Fumbles-lost                       4-2                 0-0

Penalties-yards                  5-40               2-25

Punts-Avg                           4-37.0           5-31.0



L-Ali Duncan 24-75, Ryikeez Brown 13-57, Quentin Benjamin 2-20, Aiden Fitzgerald 2-6. W-Antwan Nelson 19-31, Quentin McGill Jr. 4-25, Chase Simmons 1-(-8), Carrington Carter 6-(-28), Team 1-3.


L-Aiden Fitzgerald 13-23-1. W-Carrington Carter 6-20-1, Chase Simmons 0-1-0.


L-Zion Tucker 6-94, Myles Hamilton 3-18, Caleb Cattles 2-12, Matt Campbell 1-7, Team 1-8. W-Quentin McGill Jr. 2-5, Jayvyn Canty 1-5, Sean Goddard 2-43, Miles Grant 1-15.

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