BISHOPVILLE — The Lee Central Stallions were disciplined and held Aynor’s rushing attack to 167 yards rushing as the Blue Jackets season came to an end with a 40-6 loss in the second round of Friday’s 2A Division II lower state playoff meeting.
Jackets’ senior running back Hunter Windham was held to 81 yards rushing while Ronique Smith had 51 yards rushing and the lone score for Aynor, which fell to 8-4 to finish the season.
The visiting team had trouble stopping the Stallions rushing attack allowing 285 rushing yards, while trying to get its own on track. Lee Central was led by quarterback T’Darius Gregg’s three touchdowns including one passing and two rushing.
The victory for the Stallions marked the first time in school history the football program reached the third round. Lee Central, the No. 3 seed, now 8-3 on the year will travel to take on Bishop England.
Aynor, the No. 6 seed, looked poised to take control of the game on its first offensive drive but everything seemed to fall apart that, especially on ensuing kickoffs. The Stallions had a 70-yard special teams score and Aynor fumbled twice while turning the ball over several times on fourth down.
Starting on its own 27 the Blue Jackets and drove until they faced a 4th and goal from the 2. Jackets’ head coach Jody Jennerette decided to go with a direct snap in a double trips formation and Damion Riggins was stuffed for no gain, turning the ball over on downs.
Facing a 4th and 10 from the Jackets’ 27 Gregg found Juwan Thomas for the game’s first score. After converting the 2-point conversion, the Stallions took an early 8-0 lead at the 11:53 mark of the second quarter. The Stallions then recovered the ensuing kickoff and extended their lead 14-0 thanks to a 16-yard TD run by Gregg.
Aynor cut into the lead with 4:46 to play before halftime thanks to Ronique Smith’s 5-yard TD run and after a failed 2-point conversion the Jackets trailed 14-6. The ensuing kickoff came to haunt the visiting team again as Lee Central’s George Howard returned the kickoff 70 yards to put the Stallions up 20-6 and it would remain that way at halftime.
Things got worse in the second half as Aynor failed to contain the Stallions running game. Gregg rushed for a 51-yard score to open the second half and Davonta Wright added an 8-yard run to extend Lee Central’s lead 34-6 and George Howard’s 27-yard TD run late in the fourth wrapped up the victory for the Stallions.