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Robert E. Lee rolls past Thomas Sumter 40-16

By J. SCOTT SEWELL
jscott@theitem.com
Posted 10/6/19

DALZELL -- And now the real fun begins for Robert E. Lee Academy.

The Cavaliers improved to a perfect 7-0 on the football season with a 40-16 victory over Thomas Sumter Academy at General Field on Friday in their final tuneup before the most …

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Robert E. Lee rolls past Thomas Sumter 40-16

Posted

DALZELL -- And now the real fun begins for Robert E. Lee Academy.

The Cavaliers improved to a perfect 7-0 on the football season with a 40-16 victory over Thomas Sumter Academy at General Field on Friday in their final tuneup before the most difficult stretch of their schedule begins next week.

The win marks the end of the easier portion of Robert E. Lee's schedule. The Cavaliers are currently the top ranked team in SCISA 2A, according to the S.C. Prep Media Football Poll. Next up, they'll host Florence Christian in Bishopville and then are slated to face Carolina Academy, Greenwood Christian and Trinity-Byrnes to close out the season.

Jet Smith led the way for the Cavaliers, notching three touchdowns on 76 yards rushing and 78 yards passing.

"Jet's been doing that all year," said Robert E. Lee head coach David Rankin. "He's a heck of a football player, a senior leader, and he's done a real good job for us. He checked off on some of those calls tonight and did some good things. He's very smart, he gets us in the right formation and in the right play in our no-huddle offense."

Smith started the scoring for Robert E. Lee, taking the ball 63 yards for the touchdown on the Cavaliers' opening possession.

The Generals offense sputtered, unable to find consistent openings in the REL defense. Thomas Sumter continually stuffed 11 men in the box on offense, giving the Cavaliers a look they hadn't seen all season.

"We played pretty good defense after we got adjusted to what they were doing," said Rankin. "They hadn't shown that double tight (end), double-wing all offense season, so we were proud of our adjustment to that."

Robert E. Lee added to their lead five minutes later when Smith found Keaton Price in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass and catch, pushing the lead to 14-0.

The game got out of hand after that.

Josh Kirven scored on a 65-yard touchdown reception from Smith with 1:54 remaining in the first quarter. Kirven added his second touchdown of the game as time expired in the quarter with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 26-0.

"Our skill players had a good game," said Rankin. "Josh Kirven is usually our starting free safety, but Drew Watson was out hurt tonight, and Kirven had to play his spot and he had just a great game."

Morgan Brown extended the lead to 33-0 with a 4-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter. Brown busted loose for a 45-yard run on the previous play to set up the touchdown.

The Generals offense enjoyed some success in the second half. Ayden Allen notched a pair of long touchdown runs.

Allen scored on a 66-yard rushing touchdown with 7:05 to play in the third quarter, and then broke off a second long run, this one for 60 yards, less than a minute later to cut the TSA deficit to 33-16. Allen finished the night with 13 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Robert E. Lee's Christian Olson finished the scoring with an 11-yard run with just a minute to play to push REL's advantage to 40-16.