Red Zone's Blog

Friday's game between the high flying Airport Eagles and the Lugoff-Elgin Demons shaped up to be a great matchup on paper.  Little did we know just how great the game would be.  Just like in a heavyweight title fight, both teams would go toe to toe throughout the contest.  One would take punches to the body and come back to deliver their own blows.  In the end, however, Airport would prevail in overtime, 43-42.

The Demons would take the opening possession in for a score courtesy of a 17 yard run by Julian Baxter with 9:47 left in the first quarter.  Grayson Quick's kick was good for a 7-0 lead.  The Demons would hold Airport on their possession and later go ahead by 14.  Darius Custard slice through the Airport defense and score from 60 yards out with 1:30 left in the opening period.

Airport would begin their comeback as the Eagles W. T. Murden would bring his one man show to Lugoff-Elgin Stadium.  Murden would score from 18 yards out.  The pat by Austin Jordan was no good, so LE still enjoyed a 14-6 advantage. 

With only 1:46 left on the clock til halftime, Murden find the end zone from six yards out.  Down by eight, the Eagles would go for two and convert thanks to a Murden pass to Ryan Smith. 

Lugoff-Elgin would be remain calm and march down the field as the half was winding down.  A determined Forrest Koumas took the snap from the shotgun would run around the right end and fight his way into the end zone from 13 yards out with only nine seconds left.  The pat was good and LE took a 21-14 lead into the half. 

Airport would make the most of the first possession of the second half as Ryan Smith would go in from the one yard line with 9:08 left in the third.  The pat was good and we found ourselves in a tie game once again, 21-21.

The Demons would counter back as Julian Baxter would hit paydirt on a 22 yard run with 5:43 remaining in the third to put the Demons back up, 28-21. 

With a Carolina full moon shining brightly over Lugoff-Elgin Stadium, the LE faithful were thinking the momentum would be turning in their favor as Darius Custard recoverd an Airport fumble.  With 3:08 left in the third quarter, Lugoff-Elgin's drive would stall out and Grayson Quick would attempt a 34 yard field goal but missed it just wide. 

Airport would counter again and end their 80 yard drive with a W. T. Murden scoring run from nine yards out with 11:02 left in regulation.  The pat was good, and Airport would tie the score at 28. 

With 7:57 left, the Eagles would see their first lead of the night as Murden would hit Deonne Hopkins with a five yard pass.  The kick was good and Airport was on top 35-28. 

Lugoff-Elgin would get the ball back and drive down to the Eagle eight yard line.  Darius Custard would be deceptive on his eight yard touchdown run.  The kick was good and we're tied at 35. 

Lugoff-Elgin would get the ball back and drive down the field.  With no timeouts, the Demons would use their playmakers, Julian Baxter, Darius Custard and Forrest Koumas to work the ball down to inside of the 20 yard line.  With 37 seconds left in the game, LE was content to take the snap and run the ball to the middle of the field, then spike the ball to stop the clock and attempt a potential game winning field goal by Grayson Quick.  Call it the craziness associated with full moons, bad luck or fatigue, however, with Koumas lined up in the shotgun, Koumas was unable to handle the snap and Airport recovered the fumble.  The Eagles would run one play and be content to run out the clock and try their fate in the extra period. 

The Eagles won the toss and elected to go after LE in OT.  Lugoff Elgin wasted no time on their possession as Forrest Koumas would fire a pass to Jahred Palmer in the end zone for the touchdown.  Quick's kick was good and LE was now up 42-35.

On the ensuing Airport possession, the Demon defense came up on the first three plays to force the Eagles into a 4th and 10 play.  Murden would work his magic and found Derek Cushman on the left side of the field about two yards in the end zone for the score.  Down by one, the Eagles went for the win in the two point conversion.  Airport would line the ball up on the left hash mark.  Murden would take the snap and roll right, pass and hit Cushman once again as he was running parallel to Murden in the end zone.  The conversion would keep the Eagles undefeated after two games while the Demons' record would be even at 1-1 heading into a road game with West Florence on Friday, September 11. 

Unofficial Stats

Passing  - (A) Murden - 10/15, 131 yds, 2 TD's, 1 Int.;  (LE) Koumas - 6/9, 85 yds., 1 TD

Receiving - J(A) Josh Salley - 3/63 yds; (LE) Custard - 3/69 yds.

Rushing - (A) Murden - 22 carries, 185 yds, 3 TD's, (A) Ryan Smith - 21 carries, 102 yds.

(LE) Koumas - 13 carries, 73 yds., 1 TD; (LE) Darius Custard 12 carries, 138 yds, 2 TD's

Team Stats

First Downs - Airport - 15; LE - 21

Rushing - Airport  - 40/259;  LE - 39/282


Side Notes

--Neil White from the State Paper was in attendance to do a future article on brothers,   E. J. and Josh Ruiz. 

--Here's a link to a photo gallery from the State Paper taken from the game. 

--A great crowd was in attendance, partly due to celebrate Glenn Price night.  About 100 former LE band members dusted off their old instruments was on the field at halftime to play the Demon fight song with current band members.  Principal Tommy Gladden also presented the band director a plaque to help celebrate his 35 years of teaching at Lugoff-Elgin High School.  Gladden mentioned that it's rare to teach a second generation of students, but Price is now teaching a third generation. 

--W. T. Murden of Airport has accounted for 10 touchdowns in two games for the Eagles this year. 

--The Demons go on the road for the first time this year on Friday, September 11.  LE will travel to play West Florence.  Camden beat the Knights 16-7 on Thursday, September 3rd.


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