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Chargers down Blue Devils!

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The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 29, 2017

LITTLEFIELD — Friday’s football game between Ayden-Grifton and South Lenoir produced a dynamic almost exclusive to the high school level.

Homecoming court festivities called for an extended halftime, but that was negated by a mercy-rule continuous clock for the entire second half in Ayden-Grifton’s 63-0 victory in the Chargers’ Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference opener. It also was the third straight win for A-G (4-2), which led 43-0 at halftime and scored touchdowns on its first two offensive plays after the break for a 57-0 advantage.

The Chargers scored on their first eight offensive drives. The ninth consisted of two kneel-downs to extend the South Lenoir (1-6, 0-2) losing streak to five games.

“I think the last couple of weeks we have practiced very well, and that showed tonight,” A-G coach Paul Cornwell said. “Now we’re just focusing on taking that next step forward.”

The home team finished with more than 400 rushing yards.

Already equipped with a huge advantage in rushing, the first play of the second half was one of the most exciting of the night when Rashadeen Byrd spun over and around a few defenders, kept his balance and broke free for a 50-yard touchdown. The Chargers’ next offensive play was a 71-yard sweep to the end zone by Michael Webb, who had three carries for a game-high 110 yards.

Bruiser Ray Darden did all of his damage before the elongated halftime, running nine times for 108 yards and two TDs.

But the scoring actually began with a pass, as A-G quarterback Blake McLawhorn sent a play action pass to Byrd for 28 yards and a 7-0 lead. Darden’s first score made it 14-0, and the ensuing kickoff by Wyatt Russell was sent to the corner of the field and bounced around and was eventually bobbled and ended up recovered by Ayden-Grifton’s Jeffrey Gunter in the end zone for a 21-0 edge less than seven minutes into the game.

“It was a great start, and you can’t ask for anything better than that,” Cornwell said. “The bye week (last week) really helped us fine-tune some things, and also get healthy. With all of that, it all kind of came together tonight.

“We had been solid, but tonight I thought we really started putting it all together.”

McLawhorn completed both of his pass attempts in the blowout, and he also scored on a 1-yard QB sneak late in the first quarter.

—Ronnie Woodward

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