Gilbert Snaps Losing Streak With Region Win over Lower Richland

Posted 9/30/22

Aaron Judge was not the only person in sports to reach the ‘61’ milestone this week.

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Gilbert Snaps Losing Streak With Region Win over Lower Richland

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Aaron Judge was not the only person in sports to reach the ‘61’ milestone this week.

Gilbert’s 48-23 road victory over Lower Richland gave head coach Chad Leaphart the same number of career victories at his alma mater. More important, it snapped the longest losing streak during his tenure (2) and earned a victory to open Region 5-3A play.

Gilbert prevailed in what Leaphart described as a “crazy” game. After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Jaden Allen-Hendrix scored two touchdowns to put the Indians ahead.

As Gilbert headed for another score before halftime, the stadium unexpectedly turned pitch black for over 20 minutes. A witness stated it was caused by heavy winds knocking a tree limb which struck a power line that resulted in the transformer malfunctioning and knocking the power off.

Once play resumed, quarterback Drake Braddock found former starter Chance Jennings for a 24-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 21-7 with 56 seconds left. It was still enough time for the Diamond-Hornets to march downfield and get a 1-yard touchdown run by Lamarion Pearson as time expired in the first half.

The PAT was blocked, keeping the score at 21-13.

Gilbert opened the second half with a scoring drive set by a long run by Allen-Hendrix, who finished with 183 rushing yards, followed by a nine-yard touchdown run by Alias Graham-Woodberry to make it 28-13.

The Indians looked to extend their lead, but a fumble by Graham-Woodberry was recovered and returned 76 yards by Lower Richland’s Jamel Patterson to make it 28-19 after the failed two-point conversion.7-

Graham-Woodberry made amends with touchdown runs of 10 and three yards on the next two Gilbert offensive series to push the lead to 42-19 with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter. He finished with 133 rushing yards.

The Diamond-Hornets picked up a 17-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Smith to Makhi Campfield with 4:20 left. Gilbert answered with a final scoring drive capped by a one-yard keeper by Braddock with 56 seconds left.

“The big thing about tonight was going 1-0 in the region against one, I feel like, one of the really better teams in the region,” said Leaphart, who’s now eight wins shy of surpassing Marty Woolbright on the school’s career-win list. “LR’s got a lot of talent. The guys, the Campbell kid and (Nate) Branch kid, you know.

“Coming over here in their place, too, and just crazy week, and the game ended up being kind of being a crazy, wild game too. But our guys kept her cool when all the crazy things went on. I mean, we had the lights blow out in the game. I mean, so it was one of those crazy nights, but our guys kept cool, calm, composed, and finished to deal with a 23-point win in region play. So I’m excited about that.”

Gilbert (3-3, 1-0) will play host to Swansea next week for “Homecoming”.

Lexington 25, Chapin 7

It was another three-touchdown night for Wildcat senior running back Jonah Norris at Cecil Woolbright Field.

His touchdown runs of nine and four yards gave seventh-ranked Lexington a 13-0 lead in the first half. Chapin got within 13-7 at halftime after Luke Rankin blocked the punt and it was returned 10 yards for a touchdown by Jack Sumeral.

Lexington put together an eight-play, 50-yard scoring drive capped by Norris’ third touchdown of 15 yards to make it 19-7 after the failed PAT. He finished with 175 rushing yards to join River Bluff’s Cooper Johns as 1,000-yard rushers this season.

Early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Taiden Mines found Tyler Derienzo for a 22-yard touchdown to close out the scoring. Chapin was unable to score again and finished with -6 yards against the Wildcats’ defense, led by Christian Sexton’s 15 tackles and a sack.

Lexington (5-1, 1-0) plays host to archrival River Bluff, while Chapin (3-4, 0-1) returns to action Oct. 14 at Dutch Fork.

Gray Collegiate 70, Columbia 0

After opening the regular season 0-3, the defending Class 2A champion and seventh-ranked War Eagles have won their last four games in dominant fashion.

Quarterback Riley Staton threw four touchdown passes, two to Devin Johnson, and Zai Offord returned an interception for a touchdown. Defensively, Gray Collegiate (4-3, 3-0) held the Capitols to 50 total yards.

During the winning streak, Gray Collegiate have outscored their opponents 201-36. Up next is a visit to Winnsboro, the place where the War Eagles made their run to the Lower State title, to face Fairfield Central.

Richland Northeast 20, Irmo 14

The Cavaliers outscored the ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets 14-0 in the second half to win the Region 4-4A opener for both teams.

Erick Tucker accounted for both touchdowns for Irmo (4-2, 0-1). In the second half, quarterback Will Wilson rushed for two of his three touchdowns and Richland Northeast recovered a fumble with less than two minutes left.

Irmo looks to rebound next week at home against Ridge View.

W.W. King Academy 56, Newberry Academy 16

The Knights are the lone unbeaten team in Chronicle Country after it improved to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in the region.

Up next for W.W. King is a road trip to defending SCISA 8-man champion and fellow unbeaten Holly Hill Academy. 

OTHER SCORES

Aiken 21, Airport 7

Strom Thurmond 40, Batesburg-Leesville 0

Dreher 33, Swansea 20

Saluda 42, Pelion 0

Thomas Grant Jr. | Chronicle
Gilbert head football coach Chad Leaphart following the 48-23 win over Lower Richland.

Gilbert, Leaphart, football, Irmo, Lexington, Norris

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