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Augusta Christian

Panthers finish winless season, fall to ACS

By Jack Jeffrey | Pinewood Prep Contributor

Pinewood Prep fell 38-0 to Augusta Christian in their final game of the 2019 season. Pinewood was plagued by a lot of the same issues and mistakes that hurt them all year long; an inconsistent run defense, turnovers, and injuries. With the loss they finish the year 0-10.

The Augusta Christian Lions on the other hand improved on their 2018, 3-7 record, and finish 4-6. Augusta Christian will just sneak into the playoffs and will finishing eighth in SCISA 3A.

“Augusta Christian was way tougher than I thought they would be,” said Pinewood quarterback Myron Wigfall. “Hats off to them, they came ready to play. They’re a really good team and should give someone a run for their money in the playoffs.”

Pinewood went down early in the game as the Lions fed sophomore running back, Zackery Blackwell the ball four times on their opening drive. Blackwell took the ball in from four yards out for the touchdown. Augusta Christian pulled out a fake extra point, worked to perfection, which gave them an 8-0 lead with 6:46 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers were slow to start on offense but their defense rewarded them with great field position as they thwarted the Lions fourth down attempt from their own 35-yard line. Wigfall found receiver Addison Venitelli on back to back throws to put Pinewood at the doorstep. Venitelli would be concussed on the play and would not return.

Disaster struck for the Panthers though, when Wigfall’s pass was tipped and intercepted in the end-zone by Kevin Walker. Walker ran the ball out of the end zone and all the way to the 50-yard line. Pinewood’s defense came up with an answer though as senior linebacker, Raysheem Cherisol, stepped in front of quarterback Sam Roberson’s pass and intercepted it.

Turnovers would continue to be the story. Just when it looked like Pinewood had the momentum Wigfall’s pass was intercepted by J.C. Hansen.

Augusta Christian would finally take advantage of the turnovers. The Lions would kick a 37-yard field goal with 53 seconds until halftime to put themselves up 11-0.

“They brought their physicality with them all the way from Georgia,” said receiver Ben Brown after the game. “They definitely made their presence known and ran the ball well.”

The Lions came out motivated after halftime. Quarterback Sam Roberson took matters into his own hands on their first possession. Roberson scampered for 60 yards on the first play of the drive and finished it off with a 20-yard touchdown to put his side up 18-0 with 7:50 left in the third quarter.

Pinewood’s turnovers continued to be a problem in the second half. Augusta Christian recovered a fumble after a bad snap late in the third quarter. The lions took advantage instantly. The very next play following the turnover, running back Jacob Walker took off for an 80-yard touchdown. With the score the Lions extended their lead 25-0.

The Panthers looked to get points on the board as they set up for a field goal attempt. A bad snap though, lead to a fumble and recovery by Augusta Christian. With favorable field position the Lions handed the ball off to Kevin Walker for a 10 yard score to make it 32-0 with 9:12 left in the fourth quarter.

The Lions put the nail in the coffin after they recovered running back Cameron Carrol’s fumble for a 45-yard touchdown to make the score 38-0 with 6:38 left in the game.

Pinewood was only down 11 at half but in the end turnovers got the best of them and once Augusta Christian took advantage, they took over the game.

For many it will be a season to forget as Pinewood failed to notch a victory. For others though, the season brought many memories and exciting moments. While the Panthers failed to make a big name for themselves, they fought through many injuries and showed signs of improvement and that is where this team’s name will be etched in Pinewood history.

“This team meant everything to me,” said senior captain Grayson Mann. “We have been through so much adversity and it has brought us closer. This season wasn’t what we wanted but in the end I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”

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