A special night from Waderek Hemingway helped lift Loris to a 33-21 Week Zero victory over an upstart St. James team.
Hemingway accounted for three touchdowns on the night, combining with backfield mate Quantavios Soles to power the Lions (1-0).
“I was really happy with how we played – it wasn’t perfect, but we performed well,” said Loris coach Jamie Snider. “We had some dropped passes, missed tackles and all of those things that you expect from a first game, but we hung in there and made some plays. I was really happy with our effort, we’ve got to execute better.”
St. James (0-1) came out of the gates with a solid game plan to feed running back Chris Anderson and use the play-action passing game to get quarterback Berkeley Young in an early rhythm. The defense of Loris didn’t allow Young to get comfortable for much of the game, something Snider and his staff wanted to accomplish.
“Our defense did a great job; the thing we want to clean up is our tackling,” he said. “We’ve got to do a little bit better in getting the ball carrier to the ground; we had some guys slip away from us tonight. But, we followed our game plan pretty well and were able to make some big plays with a couple of turnovers and good pressure to slow down their offense.”
St. James, coming off a winless season and breaking in a new coach, presented a great test for Loris, Snider said.
“It wasn’t easy; I told my team that they needed to be ready for a dogfight,” he said. “Every year for the last seven or eight years, it’s been a tough game for us. I think St. James did a great job; Coach (Tommy) Norwood has done a great job. I know I saw improvement in them from last year to this year.”
For Norwood’s team, which is making the transition up to Class 5A this season, the show on the field was something to be proud of.
“I’m pleased with everything except the outcome – not getting the win hurts,” Norwood said. “We were in this game from the start and had our chances; we’ve just got to execute a little bit better in all three phases. We’re going to work harder and get better from here.”
Loris travels to North Myrtle Beach next week, while St. James will play at Hilton Head in Week One.
Following a St. James fourth quarter touchdown to get the game down to a six-point deficit, Waderek Hemingway burst through the offensive line, bounced outside and scampered for 63-yards. While he didn’t score on the play, he put Loris on the St. James two-yard line, in prime position to score while burning the clock. He would cap the drive with his third touchdown on the day.
Waderek Hemingway, Loris: Leading his team to victory with three touchdowns, Hemingway made play-after-play for the Lions
Chris Anderson, St. James: The Sharks fed their best back over-and-over, putting 25 carries on their workhorse back to the tune of 112 yards and a touchdown
By the numbers
The number of all-purpose yards for Loris’ Waderek Hemingway, 145 rushing and 81 punt return yards
Loris has defeated St. James eight of the last nine meetings
They said it
“We had great effort, our kids played hard. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re getting there.” – St. James coach Tommy Norwood
“I felt like it was (going to seal the game). I knew that (St. James) had just put up a score and that we needed to respond somehow. I saw the hole open and took off – I thought I was gonna score, but I got it in on the next play.” – Loris running back Waderek Hemingway on his 63-yard run in the fourth quarter
“We just played a Class 5A school and now we’re going to play a top-5 school in the state (in North Myrtle Beach). We’re getting ready for our tough region the only way we know how – to play good teams and see where we stack up and how we perform. – Loris Coach Jamie Snider
Lor – Quantavios Soles 7-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 7:32
STJ – Chris Anderson 10-yard run (Jackson Sullivan kick good) 1:57
Lor – Waderek Hemingway 2-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 10:20
Lor – Hemingway 81-yard punt return (Gage Connor pass to Jahrique Isaiah for 2-point conversion) 00:27
STJ – Berkeley Young 13-yard pass to Garrick Lee-Jordan (Sullivan kick good) 7:50
Lor – Soles 28-yard run (Josh Causey kick good) 6:17
STJ – Young 1-yard run (Sullivan kick good) 3:35
Lor – Hemingway 2-yard run (kick failed) 2:03
Rushing: STJ – Chris Anderson 25-112 TD. Lor – Waderek Hemingway 17-145 2TD.
Passing: Berkeley Young 8-28-81-0-2. Lor – Gage Connor – 3-11-48-0-0.
Receiving: STJ – Garrick Lee-Jordan 3-36 TD. Lor – Jahrique Isaiah 2-34.
Interceptions: STJ – None. Lor – Jacob Black, 1; Cole Stewart, 1.