The Lugoff-Elgin Demons traveled to Riverside Friday night for the first round of the South Carolina 2A playoffs for a favorable matchup on paper. The paper didn't forecast turnovers which would lead to the Demons demise in a 42-35 loss.
LE would take the opening kickoff and get a deep pass completion to Jahred Palmer. Palmer would be sprinting to the end zone when a Riverside defender would catch up to him and strip the football. With the ball rolling toward the end zone, Julian Baxter tried to get the ball, but it took a bad bounce and the Warriors recovered at their own 6 yard line.
Lugoff-Elgin and Riverside's defenses would make stands on the next two possessions in a battle for field position.
The Warriors would eventually score first in the game as Deandre Cheeks would go over the left side of the line and find the end zone from seven yards out. The pat was good and Riverside was on top 7-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Riverside would make the most of a three and out by Lugoff-Elgin and an ensuing short punt. Alex Poag would hit paydirt on a 36 yard run. The pat was good and the homestanding Warriors would be up by two touchdowns.
As has been the case throughout the season, LE would not give in. With 4:26 left on the clock til halftime, Forrest Koumas would throw a deep pass to Devonte Alexander near the 10 yard line. It would be just a little short as Alexander came back for it, which led to his defender to slip. Devonte would then hurdle the defender and make a cut to the the end zone. Grayson Quick's pat was good and the Demons would only be down by seven.
Lugoff-Elgin would be driving but a fumble would give the ball back to Riverside at their own 22 yard line with just under three minutes left in the second quarter.
The game was turning into a shootout as the Warriors would score again with need just 1:44 to score again. Quarterback Austin Lawrence would call a quarterback sneak and ramble in from 36 yards to put them up 21-7 with 1:04 left in the quarter.
Lugoff-Elgin would utilize the big strike once again as Koumas would connect with Alexander on a 60 yard pass with 41 seconds left til the half. The pat was good and LE was only trailing by a touchdown, 21-14 at the half.
The Warriors would take the opening drive of the second half dwon the field and score. Deandre Cheeks would get in from 18 yards out with 8:52 left in the third to once again go up by 14points.
Lugoff-Elgin would only take a 2:10 drive to score as Koumas would find Julian Baxter over the middle and he would take the pass to the house for a 40 yard score. The pat was good and the Demons were back within striking distance, 28-21.
LE's defense would hold Riverside to a three and out on their next possession giving the Demons decent field position at their own 32. Lugoff-Elgin would be faced with a third and one from Riverside's 46, Forrest Koumas would take the ball on a quarterback draw and go around the right side and sprint to the end zone for the tying touchdown. Grayson Quick would draw the Demons even at 28 with his pat. after Grayson Quick's pat.
Lugoff-Elgin's defense would come up big on the next Riverside possession. Darrien Alexander would recover a Warrior fumble at the Riverside 21. The Demons would begin to feel the electricity of a dramatic comeback. However the turnover bug would hit the Demon sidelines as Forrest Koumas would try to hit E. J. Ruiz at the goalline but a Riverside defender would step in front of the slightly underthrown ball and return it 21 yards to their 22 yard line.
The Warriors would drive the length of the field on the backs of running back Deandre Cheeks. Cheeks would do finish off the drive as he would score on a 10 yard run with 8:46 left in the game to go up 35-28 after the successful pat.
The Demons would be driving once again as LE would be deep in Riverside territory. A Koumas pass would be picked off at the Warrior five yard line with just over eight minutes to go.
Riverside would have the ball at the LE 42 and use some trickeration to go up by 14. A backwards pass from Alex Poag to Austin Lawrence on the right side of the formation who would then fire a pass to Trent States for the touchdown with 3:38 left in the game.
Lugoff-Elgin wouldn't be done. On the first play of the next possession, Forrest Koumas would hit Darius Custard on the left side of the field for a wide receiver screen. Custard would utilize key blocks by Devonte Alexander and Julian Baxter as he would cut across the field for the 80 yard touchdown scamper to find themselves down by only a touchdown with 3:14 left in the game.
Riverside would get the ball back but couldn't muster anything as the would be forced to punt from their own 10.
The Demons would get the ball back with just over a minute to play, down by a touchdown and had no timeouts. LE would get a first down near midfield. The big pass play had worked well earlier in the game, but the Forrest Koumas couldn't connect with Devonte Alexander on first down. Riverside would sack a scrambling Forrest Koumas on second down which would lead to the Demons spiking the ball to stop the clock on third down. With the season hanging in the balance on 4th and 14, Koumas would complete the pass to Julian Baxter would try to break out of the tackle of two Riverside defenders but would be unsuccessful and be brought down four yards short of the first down marker. The finality of that play would hit some members of the Demon offensive line hard as they collapsed on the field in despair.
Riverside would kneel down to end the game and give Lugoff-Elgin a season ending 7-4 record.