Mullins sold out to stop the run, and Loris cashed in with a solid passing effort in a 36-0 win on Friday night at Heniford Field.
With the Auctioneers loading up at the line of scrimmage, the Lions took to the air behind junior quarterback Ta’Jay Williams, who was 7-for-10 passing for 165 yards and a score and rushed for two more touchdowns.
“When somebody puts 10 in the box – that was their game plan, to take away our run game and put it on the receivers and the quarterback – and our guys responded well,” Loris coach Jamie Snider said. “I’m real proud of how they played.”
The Lions remain unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 3-0 in Region VIII-AA and now must face Dillon (8-0, 3-0), the defending Class AA state champions, next in a game that should clinch the region title for the winner.
“(Dillon is) the defending state champions,” Snider said. “Won it what – five out of the last six years? It’s a great challenge for us. Glad that it is here, but that’s a tough challenge ahead of us.”
The Lions struck quickly as Desmond Dozier returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
Loris’ defense pushed Mullins (3-5, 0-3) backward most of the game, including on its first two possessions. Both drives ended with punts that were downed inside the Mullins end of the field, resulting in a 37-yard field goal from Brian Ayala and Williams’ first rushing touchdown, a keeper from three yards out.
Dozier scored again in the second quarter, this time running 78 yards after snaring a screen pass from Williams to give Loris a 23-0 lead at halftime.
Williams added a 6-yard touchdown run and Levi Moody broke free for a 51-yard touchdown in the third quarter to close the scoring.
The Auctioneers finished with minus-12 yards of offense, due largely to Loris’ defensive pressure, but helped by a handful of penalties and bad snaps. The Lions had chances at a handful of interceptions as well, but couldn’t quite manage to bring in the ball.
“One thing that (defensive coordinator Adrain Grady) was upset about that we didn’t score on defense for the first time this year, but we did have another shutout,” Snider said.
The complete game is coming at a good time, with regular season games left with Dillon and Aynor.
“You want to be playing your best football toward the end of the season. Last week we played pretty good in special teams and defense, but didn’t play very well on offense,” Snider said. “We were shaky a little bit early, but it was nice to see us settle down and make some throws and some catches.”
Dozier finished with three catches for 95 yards, and Moody had seven carries 67 yards.
L-Desmond Dozier 92 kickoff return (Brian Ayala kick) 11:41
L-Ayala 37 FG, 6:49
L-Ta’Jay Williams 3 run (Ayala kick) 2:35
L-Dozier 78 pass from Williams (run failed) 1:08
L-Williams 6 run (kick failed) 6:51
L-Levi Moody 51 run (Ayala kick) 3:05