In a game postponed by the weather, with little practice time for either team, it was fitting that a lightning storm stopped the game midway through the fourth quarter.
Loris (1-2) battled, fought, scratched and clawed for its first win of the season, defeating South Columbus (1-1) 15-6 in a Monday night rivalry showdown.
“I’m really proud of them, that’s a tough team that really demands the best of our guys to beat them,” said Loris coach Jamie Snider. “Coach Dove and their staff do such a great job and this game is always a close, tight game from start to finish and tonight was as well.”
The Lions and Stallions had matched up 27 times going into Monday night, with South Columbus winning the previous three contests. Loris found a way to win by riding a strong defense, which shut down South Columbus’ rushing attack, save one big play.
“We really hung in there,” Snider said with a sigh of relief. “We had some turnovers and sloppy play and some things like that, but the defense played exceptional tonight. They seem to get better and better every week we get to play. To have such a condensed window of practice time to get ready and to play like they did is a testament to these kids and coaches.”
Indeed, the defense came to play early, forcing South Columbus into a safety in the game and stopping the Stallions repeatedly to put its offense into good positions. South Columbus came out in the second quarter looking to impose its will on the Lions’ defense, hitting on a big run for its lone touchdown, but the visitors couldn’t sustain the momentum as Gage Conner and the Loris offense continued its methodical approach to the game.
“On offense, we moved the ball really well but we have to get better from the 20 to the goal line – finishing drives off with touchdowns,” Snider said. “We got down there, moved the ball, and then stalled out. But, I tell you what, I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder of a group of individuals. To have to overcome the adversity that we’ve had with the weather, missing scrimmages and practices then the hurricane comes through – they have been absolutely resilient. I’m so proud of how they just hung in there.”
Just after 9:15 p.m., with 6:25 left in the game, a lightning storm in the area sent both teams off the field and all fans to the stands. At that point, Loris led 8-6 and had the ball deep in its own territory. Half an hour later, while sitting in a stifling locker room, the Lions regrouped and came out with a strong offensive effort to the end of the game.
“We sat in there, all the momentum of the game gone at that point and had to decide how we wanted to end the game,” Snider said. “Our guys came out and put a good effort on offense, picking up a couple of first downs and then our punter (Cam Jones) had a huge punt to pin them deep. Our defense stood up and made sure they couldn’t get out of there.”
The Loris defense stopped South Columbus on four downs, causing a turnover on downs that gave the Lions’ offense the ball inside the Stallion 5-yard line. Four plays later, Quantavious Soles crossed the goal line to give Loris the cushion needed to finish off its rival.
“This is a great way to pick up our first win of the season,” Snider said. “This was a hard-fought game and showed our guys that they have what it takes to win against tough teams. We’ll have to be ready again on Friday.”
Loris will travel to Green Sea Floyds in the “Bog-Off” rivalry matchup on Friday.
SC – 0 6 0 0 – 6
LOR – 2 6 0 7 – 15
LOR – Team safety 3:46
SC – Rajon Graham 62-yard run (Extra point blocked) 11:52
LOR – Gage Conner 1-yard run (Extra point blocked) 5:21
LOR – Quantavious Soles 7-yard run (Extra point good) 00:30
SC – Jordan Johnson 0-5-0-0-0.
LOR – Gage Conner 3-9-65-0-2
SC – Letrell Brown 11-34
LOR – Quantavious Soles 11-98 TD
SC – None
LOR – Jassir Sinclair 2-38
SC – Jaquan Jordan 2-29
LOR – None