Irmo’s Skid Continues: Yellow Jackets fall to Lexington, 41-21

Irmo, SC (James Bowers) - After a 4-0 start, supporters of Irmo High School football were beginning to hope that the 2017 edition of the gold and black would restore glory to the slipping IHS program. Those hopes are now jeopardized by a second consecutive loss, as Irmo dropped a 41-21 decision to Lexington Friday night. The defeat was a spoiler for IHS’ homecoming.

Lexington took the football first and Irmo’s defense stopped that first drive. The Wildcats would not have to wait long to regain possession, as Irmo’s John Ragin threw an interception on the very next series. Lexington took the football at Irmo’s 26, and five plays later Lexington’s Mitchell McGee took it in to the end zone from a yard out to make it 7-0 Wildcats.

A subsequent Irmo drive proved fruitless. Lexington extended their lead later in the first quarter when running back Jordan Hiller found a crease and ran 63 yards to the Irmo end zone. IHS’ Julius Land blocked the PAT attempt of Lexington’s Matthew Waller, keeping the score at 13-0.

Irmo’s struggles on offense continued into the second quarter. On the Lexington side, QB Chase Crouch kept the momentum going when he found WR William Crouch for a 26 yard TD pass. LHS’ Head Coach Woolbright chose to go for the conversion and the Wildcat’s Chandler Corey’s two point run put LHS in front by 21.

Before the first half was over however, Irmo showed they were not going away quietly into the night with a loss. QB John Ragin hit WR Kendrell Flowers on a 52-yard bomb to make it a 21-7 affair.

Irmo prevented another Wildcat score before halftime, but Lexington got back to work in the 3rd when Jordan Hiller again found the end zone from 5 yards away to extend the LHS lead to 28-7. On the next Irmo possession John Ragin connected with WR Raekwon Heath for a 34-yard score, pulling the Jackets back within 14.

The Jacket defense forced a Lexington punt. With only 18 seconds to play in the 3rd, Ragin kept the ball for an 8 yardTD, cutting the LHS lead to seven; Lexington 28, Irmo 21.

Perry Woolbright’s ‘Cats squashed the Jacket’s comeback effort in the 4th, as Chase Crouch led a three-minute, 67 yard scoring thrust that was capped by a 30 yard TD pass to Trevor Daniel. A second two-point attempt failed and the score was LHS 34, Irmo 21.

The crushing Wildcat defense forced Irmo into a turnover on downs, giving LHS the football deep in Jacket territory. An 18 yard scoring run by Akeem Nicholas and subsequent Matthew Waller kick made it 41-21 in Lexington’s favor. Irmo could not answer. A few short minutes later, LHS’ Chase Crouch took a knee, running the clock out on their fourth victory.

Crouch had a great night, completing 15 of his 20 passes for 149 yards and two scores. His leading receiver was William Crouch, who caught four passes for 53 yards and one touchdown.

RB Jordan Hiller also impressed, touching the rock 22 times and gaining 155 yards, scoring twice. On the other side of the ball, DE Alston Stewart had four stops, and a sack among 2.5 tackles for loss.

While Irmo has lost two straight, QB John Ragin did impress, passing for 175 yards and 2 TDs against one interception. Raekwon Heath was a workhorse at wideout, with six grabs for 88 yards and a score. Kendrell Flowers had four receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Julius Land had a monster game defensively, making six tackles, one for loss, and blocking a Wildcat PAT attempt.

Reggie Kennedy will rally his troops ahead of Irmo’s away game with White Knoll on September 29.

Lexington snapped a skid of their own with Friday’s victory, and Perry Woolbright looks to keep things moving in the right direction as his ‘Cats host in-town rival River Bluff on the same night. Both games are set for 7:30 pm kickoffs.

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