Red Zone's Blog

 Despite losing for the second straight week by the same score of 24-21, Lugoff-Elgin found something out about themselves.  They found out that no matter how much time is left, they can dig down a little deeper and come back on oppenents.  The Demons were down by 21 points in the fourth quarter and lost on a late field goal for the second time in as many weeks.  Only the opponent was different as this week the Demons played at Chester.  

The first score of the night came on Chester's second possession as quarterback Tevin Worthy, who was replacing the talented Tony McNeal, scored on a one yard keeper with 3:04 left in the first quarter. 

Lugoff-Elgin appeared to catch a break in the second quarter as Will Dorton threw a backwards pass to Julian Baxter who in turn found Forrest Koumas all alone down the left sideline and was brought down at the Cyclone one yard line.  The drawback was the yellow penalty flag back at the line of scrimmage as the officials ruled Dorton's pass to Baxter was also forward, making the Baxter pass to Koumas illegal.  Since that was on third down, the loss of down made it fourth down and forced the Demons to punt it back to the Cyclones.

Lugoff-Elgin's defense would hold the Cyclones on the next possession and would be moving the ball.  A fumble with 6:26 showing left in the second quarter on the exchange from Forrest Koumas to E. J. Ruiz would be recovered by Chester at the Demon 39.

It took the Cyclones only 39 seconds to make the most of LE's miscue.  Tevin Worthy connected with Deon Strong on a 41 yard pass play to put the Cyclones on top by two scores with the successful pat.

A bend but not break mentality was the order of the day in the third quarter as the Demons defense would keep Chester far enough away from the goal line and out of field goal range to force Chester to punt.    Being down by 14 points, LE's offense was still searching for a long term solution that would lead to a score as the third quarter was scoreless but would find Chester on the move.

Just 36 seconds into the fourth quarter, Julius Pendergrass would find the end zone from a couple of yards out.  The ensuing pat would put the homestanding Cyclones on top,  21-0. 

If Lugoff-Elgin was to have any chance of winning this game, the Demons would need a spark.  A spark from anyone and from anywhere.  They wouldn't just find a spark.  They would find a couple of sticks of TNT instead.  The explosion of emotion came as Forrest Koumas found Devonte Alexander along the Demon sideline and hit him in stride on a 69 yard pass that would give LE's sideline the emotional lift it so desperately needed.  Grayson Quick's pat was good and LE was now down 21-7 with 10:31 left in the game.

LE's defense felt that intensity pick up and threw more ammunition into the fray.  It only took the Demons defense 48 seconds to get the ball back.  A Chester pass over the middle was good for a first down, however, a bone jarring tackle that echoed in the stadium would jar the ball loose and Julian Baxter would recover at the Cyclone 30. 

Baxter would finish off what he started and go on a 15 yard touchdown scamper to cap off the short drive, leaving the Demons only down by seven and back in the ball game with 7:17 left in the 4th quarter. 

LE's defense would begin to be like a school of swarming sharks and feed off of the frenzy from the Demon fans in the stands.  Chester's next offensive possession would end up much like the previous one.  This time Stephen Bonapart, who was fatigued and in pain would dig deep and show his senior leadership and pick off a Tevin Worthy pass near the Chester 30 and return to the five yard line.  A couple of plays later, Forrest Koumas calls his own number and get in from less than a yard.   With 6:29 showing on the scoreboard, the Demons found themselves tied with the two time defending upper state champs. 

Chester would get the ball back on an LE punt and begin to drive.  Faced with a fourth down on three occasions during the drive, they would successfully convert those into first downs.  The last one hurt the most as it appeared the Demons stopped them just short of the first down marker.  Once the ball was spotted and the measurement made, the Cyclones had the first down by the nose of the football.  With the clock ticking down to less than a minute, Chester would get to LE's 3 yard line.  A Cyclone timeout with three seconds remaining would allow Chester's field goal unit to enter the game.  As the clock ticked toward zero, Marshall Whiteside's kick split the uprights on the 20 yard field goal attempt and LE's emotional comeback bid would fall short.   The 24-21 loss would drop the Demons record to 0-2 in the region and 4-3 overall.

Demon Tidbits

--  LE had 161 yards of total offense compared to Chester's 315.  The Demons had 9 first downs compared to Chester's 21.   

--  Chester Running Back, Julius Pendergrass is rated as one of the best in the country.

--  The three games LE has lost this year is by a total of seven points.  All the opponents are in the top 10 in 3A and have a combined 20-1 record. 

--  Lugoff-Elgin has two of the next three games at home with Lower Richland (Oct. 16) and A. C. Flora (Oct. 30).  The lone away game is at Fairfield Central on October 23. 

--  Lower Richland will be Friday's Homecoming opponent.


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