It was a cool Friday, October night at Lugoff-Elgin Stadium for Homecoming 2009. Despite the cool air, the Demons finished the night hot as they beat the Lower Richland Diamond Hornets, 30-12. But no one was hotter than E. J. Ruiz, who finished the game with over 100 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
The first quarter was a struggle for LE on offense as they weren't able to move the ball. With 5:50 left in that first stanza, Lower Richland was threatening to take the lead as they had the ball inside of LE's 10. Faced with a 4th and goal from the 3, the Demon defense made the crucial stop. Another three and out series forced Lugoff-Elgin to punt it back to the Diamond Hornets. LR took some shots downfield but the defense was able to keep the Hornets at bay.
The first score of the night, and the first of four E. J. Ruiz scores came with 10:21 left in the second quarter. The feisty senior found paydirt from two yards away. Grayson Quick began another night of perfect pat's and LE was on top, 7-0.
The athletic Diamond Hornets wouldn't be deterred as they struck back just over two minutes later as Davonta Wright caught a John Worthy pass and strutted into the end zone for the 30 yard score. Their extra point kick was blocked by an interior lineman and LE was still leading by one, 7-6.
Lower Richland would kick it short on the kickoff and the one man band of E. J. Ruiz would field the kick and slice his way through the Diamond Hornet squad and finally be brought down at the LR 36. Despite the good field position, the Demons couldn't capitalize and punted it back to LR.
Penalities and tackles for loss would pin the Hornets inside of their own five yard line. Lower Richland's Worthy would be lined up in the shotgun in his in own end zone. A bad snap would go over his head and he frantically got to the ball and swatted it out of the back of the end zone for a safety. LE was now leading by three, 9-6 with 5:33 left in the first half.
After holding LR on their possession, LE would make the best use of their's. Ruiz would find a seam and sprint to the end zone from seven yards out with 2:28 left in the second quarter. Quick's kick was good, and the homestanding Demons were enjoying a 16-6 lead.
LE would get the ball to start the second half, however couldn't do get another score and had to punt it back to LR. The Diamond Hornets used that to their advantage and scored via a Davonta Wright one yard plunge for a score with 6:58 left in the third quarter. They would go for the two point conversion and were unsuccessful. The score would find the Diamond Hornets with another score of grabbing the lead, 16-12.
That margin wouldn't hold up for long, as E. J. Ruiz would not be deterred on getting into the end zone on his 21 yard romp with 3:37 left in the quarter. The pat was good and LE was up 23-12.
The final score would be with 10:03 left in the game. This score would be from five yards out, the kick was good and LE was enjoying a comfortable 30-12 lead.
-- The four touchdown night by E. J. Ruiz was one shy of tying a school record set in 1986. Andre Nelson had five against Calhoun County in week two of the 1986 season. The Demons would win on that night 36-24.
-- A great moment was enjoyed by all at the end of the game. On LE's last offensive play of the night (a fourth down play with under a minute to go), Justin Tucker got the ball from his tailback position. J-Tuck, as he likes to be called was the ball boy at the beginning of the season and has now progressed to varsity football player. J-Tuck was tackled for a loss on the play but he was still thrilled to get the chance to run the ball. He floated off the field waving to the fans still in the stands.
-- Lugoff-Elgin will face another tough test next week as the Demons travel up highway 34 to Winnsboro to take on the region leading Fairfield Central Griffens. Combined with FC's win over Chester two weeks ago, and Chester beating Chapin this past Friday night, the Griffens stand at 3-0 in the conference with two games to play. Kickoff Friday is set for 8:00 pm.
-- Speaking of games left to play, LE will celebrate Senior Night in on Friday, October 30th against A. C. Flora. Senior Night will get kicked off at 7:30 after a pre-game celebration of our football seniors.