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Lexington Romps Over Rival River Bluff, 41-19 Friday night

Mitchell McGee, Akeem Nicholas shine as Wildcats trounce Gators.

Lexington, SC (James Bowers)-There was plenty of cause for celebration at Lexington High School Friday, as their Wildcats football squad enjoyed a huge 41-19 victory over intersectional, in-district foe River Bluff. With the victory, Perry Woolbright’s Wildcats move to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in Region V-AAAAA. River Bluff is now 2-5 on the season after the defeat.

Despite being outgained by the Gators 301-280, Lexington benefitted from two RB turnovers, including a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown by CB Parker VanCoutren. Lexington’s field position was usually good, allowing QB Chase Crouch some breathing room for his offense. Crouch completed 14 of 25 passes for 137 yards and a score. Wideout Mitchell McGee was the leading receiver with 6 snags for 57 yards and with 6 carries for 82 yards, RB Akeem Nicholas had an excellent evening. His highlight came on a 46 yard run in the fourth quarter that set up a subsequent Wildcat touchdown. Parker VanCoutren had an outstanding night on defense. In addition to the pick-six, VanCoutren was Lexington’s leading tackler, with seven stops.

Though the team has struggled so far this year, River Bluff played hard against its rival. Blair Hardin’s Gators' offense found some firepower on the legs of QB Braden Walker, who rushed for 123 yards on 23 touches. Walker’s runs included a blistering 76 yard touchdown in the first quarter. Walker’s keeper would have tied the game if not for the missed PAT by Coltin Hallman, one of a few notable special teams miscues by RBHS.

Other highs for the Gators included several profitable runs by RB Antonio Gantt. The Gators' defense also forced a Wildcat turnover on downs deep in their own territory in the third quarter. For all their effort however, River Bluff could not keep the momentum in their favor. The Gators have yet to beat the Wildcats since the two clubs began playing in 2014. The then year-old River Bluff High School had just begun playing varsity football that season.

Wildcat Coach Perry Woolbright; in his debut season at Lexington, was pleased with his squad’s performance. “This time of year, every win is important because of region play. Every game in this series has been close, but we were able to get some big plays and get momentum on our side," Woolbright said after the contest.

Next weekend, the Wildcats travel to Irmo to face a Dutch Fork squad tied for the lead in Region 5-5A. The game against the Silver Foxes is a must win for Woolbright and company. “They (Dutch Fork) are good everywhere, we’re going to have to play the best we can." The game is slated for a 7:30 pm kick off at Dutch Fork Stadium next Friday.

On the other side, Coach Hardin and his River Bluff squad will try to salvage a so far disappointing season as they host another in-town foe, White Knoll on October 6. The Timberwolves are now 3-3 after a 33-22 home loss to Irmo on September 29.

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