Wildcats strongarm Eagles to pick up victory number five of season
Chapin, SC (James Bowers) - Perry Woolbright was able to win on a field named after his grandfather Friday night as his Lexington Wildcats were able to turn a strong defensive performance into a 14-6 victory over the homestanding Chapin Eagles. The win puts the ‘Cats at 5-3 for the year, if they triumph over River Bluff next week, they will lock up the second-place spot for LHS in Region V-5A.
The game was a dogfight, going scoreless in the first quarter as the two offenses were forced to grind it out. Chapin struck first on a 35-yard Alex Nelson field goal midway through the second quarter, but a critical interception thrown by the Eagles QB Roger Pedroni deep in his own territory put the Wildcats in prime position to score. A few plays later, Wildcat QB Cal Herndon hit Forrest Alvarez from three yards away to make it 7-3 LHS at halftime.
The Eagles and Cats held each other scoreless in the third. Early in the fourth, a face mask penalty against the Eagles and some effective Herndon passing set up a lengthy Lexington drive that ended with Akeem Nicholas’ 15-yard TD run to make it 14-3. Chapin answered with a long march that ended in another Nelson field goal and forced a Wildcat punt on the next possession. However, Justin Gentry’s team was unable to muster the fatal blow and gave the football up late in the fourth. Lexington moved the chains enough to wind up in victory formation, to the disappointment of the large home crowd.
The Wildcats won on a strong rushing performance from RB Akeem Nicholas who had 121 yards and a touchdown for the evening. Cal Herndon picked up 71 of his own ground yards to go with a 105-yard, one touchdown aerial performance. William Crouch caught four passes for 40 yards while Nathan Baxley had his own quartet of grabs for 39 yards.
Chapin QB Roger Pedroni had a decent evening of his own going 15 of 26 for 126 yards. Jaylin Thomas had seven receptions for 32, though Zavier Short outgained him with 48 yards on only two catches. Pedroni was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 33 yards, while Taison Thomas mustered 31 on six carries.
Chapin will close its season with an out of region game against Nation Ford High School of Fort Mill, while Lexington will host archrival River Bluff to decide the runner-up spot in the Dutch Fork-dominated Region 5-5A on October 26.