Loris’ clash with Aynor on Friday night started rather inauspiciously for the visitors – especially for a normally stout Lions defense coming off a strong showing against state power Dillon last week.
But the rest of the night, well, that went just as the Lions could have hoped.
After quickly falling behind as Aynor scored on the first play from scrimmage, Loris didn’t let the Blue Jackets into the end zone again while rolling to a 29-8 road win to lock up second place in Region VIII-AA.
“We knew they were going to be excited,” Loris coach Jamie Snider said of Aynor. “Coach [Jody] Jenerette has done a great job, and we knew they have a lot of weapons on offense. ... It was hard to simulate them in practice. They had a plan. We did better after that, but that first time they got us.”
The same Loris defense that held Dillon to a respectable 21 points a week ago opened the game Friday with three offsides penalties and then let Aynor senior Ronique Smith break free for a 54-yard touchdown run on the first official play as the Blue Jackets (7-3, 3-2) would go ahead 8-0 16 seconds into the first quarter.
But the Lions (7-3, 4-1) would indeed take care of business from there.
Sophomore Levi Moody scored on a 15-yard touchdown run later in the opening quarter and added a 57-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter to give Loris a 13-8 lead.
Senior Orlin Mejia kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter, and senior quarterback Michael Soles found the end zone twice in the fourth on a 19-yard scramble and a 1-yard keeper.
Moody finished with 140 yards and those two touchdowns in just 12 carries and went over the 1,000-yard plateau for the season -- his first as the team’s starting running back.
“Before I even played football this year, I didn’t even think I was going to get a touchdown or a yard,” Moody said. “I didn’t even expect to play on offense. To get 1,000 yards for my sophomore year, it means a lot to me. Coming in tonight I knew I had to get over 115 – or I don’t know how much I had to get, I heard so many numbers.”
Soles was also solid with 59 rushing yards and two touchdowns while also completing 7 of 13 passes for 132 yards. Senior Hunter Windham, meanwhile, led Aynor with 75 rushing yards in 27 carries and senior Damion Riggins added 74 yards in 10 carries.
As for Loris, the Lions will now fate for their postseason draw.
“We won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but there is a possibility we’ll get a bye like we did last year an then play at home in the second round,” Snider said.
A-Ronique Smith 54 run (Hunter Windham run), 11:44
L-Levi Moody 15 run (Orlin Mejia kick), 2:12
L-Moody 57 run (kick failed), 657
L-Mejia 31 field goal, 8:21
L-Michael Soles 19 run (kick failed), 8:51
L-Soles 1 run (Mejia kick), 4:19