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Florence Christian hands REL first loss

By J.B. BRUNSON
Special to The Sumter item
Posted 10/13/19

BISHOPVILLE - Something had to give on Friday at McCutchen Field.

Robert E. Lee Academy entered Friday's game undefeated at 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in SCISA 2A in the latest S.C. Prep Media Football …

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Florence Christian hands REL first loss

Posted

BISHOPVILLE - Something had to give on Friday at McCutchen Field.

Robert E. Lee Academy entered Friday's game undefeated at 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in SCISA 2A in the latest S.C. Prep Media Football Poll. The Cavaliers' opponent, Florence Christian School was just 4-3 but is the defending SCISA 2A state champion.

It was REL that gave way as the Eagles picked up a 52-41 victory.

"Too many turnovers and too many missed tackles," Cavaliers head coach David Rankin said. "I thought we played hard. I'm proud of my football team for being undefeated for a long time. (This loss) was nothing to be ashamed of. We'll come back to the drawing board on Monday and get after it again."

Lee would receive the ball to begin the game. After a huge 46-yard kickoff return, the Cavaliers would begin at the Eagle's 34-yard line. Lee would strike quickly with a 2-play, 34-yard scoring drive consisting of a 28-yard pass from quarterback Jet Smith to tight-end Blane Hopkins, and then a 6-yard rushing touchdown from Smith to give the Cavaliers an early 7-0 lead with 11:18 left in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers' defense would force a turnover on downs on Florence Christian's first possession, but their offense would go 3-and-out and end the first quarter with a 7-0 lead. `

The Eagles would begin the second quarter with the ball, and finish off a 7-play, 69-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by a 20-yard rushing touchdown from running-back Andre Aikens to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:43 left in the second quarter.

Lee would strike back instantly after starting on its 46-yard line. Smith threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to running back Keaton Price to give the Cavaliers a 14-7 lead with 9:51 left in the second quarter.

The offenses would continue to roll as Florence Christian running back Marshall Brown would put together a 39-yard run, followed by a 24-yard rushing TD to cut the Cavalier's lead to 14-13. A missed extra point would leave the Eagles with a 1-point deficit with 8:38 left in the second quarter.

Jet Smith would take over for Lee on the next drive, marching his offense down the field on a 9-play, 44-yard scoring drive ending with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Smith to give the Cavaliers a 21-13 lead with 4:49 left in the second quarter.

Florence Christian would spend the rest of the quarter moving the ball and burning the clock on a 9-play, 53-yard scoring drive which was capped off by a 5-yard rushing touchdown from Marshall Brown to Lee's lead to 21-19 with :34 left in the second quarter. A missed 2-point conversion would left the score 21-19 in favor of REL at halftime.

Florence Christian took control of the game in the second half. The Eagles pushed the lead to 39-27 early in the fourth quarter and never looked back.