ABBEVILLE — No. 1-ranked Abbeville opened the Class 2A playoffs Friday night with an impressive statement victory, scoring on every possession and never punting while piling up a school record for points in an 85-22 victory against Lewisville.
“I thought our kids came out and took care of business early in the first quarter,” Abbeville coach Jamie Nickles said. “Obviously, we have a little more talent, but they have — I call him Lamar Jackson (Lewisville Shrine Bowler Demetric Hardin) — and he made a couple of spectacular runs and throws. But give our kids a lot of credit.”
The Panthers (10-0) weren’t even trying to run up the score. They rested their starters after halftime, when Abbeville was up 56-8.
“No starters played anything but special teams in the second half,” Nickles said.
There was a running clock in the fourth quarter.
With the exception of the one Lewisville score in the second quarter, the Lions’ points came against second- and third-team Panther players.
Abbeville ran just 26 total plays in the game. Quarterback Thomas Beauford ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to help lead the Panthers into the second round of the playoffs. They’ll host Andrew Jackson next Friday at Hite Stadium.
“Every week it’s getting easier and easier,” said Beauford, who took over at quarterback early in the season. “The offense is finding its rhythm, and the team is just clicking right now.”
The coaches dialed up Beauford for a pass play midway through the first quarter, and the quarterback connected with Navi Marshall on a 30-yard touchdown pass. Nickles has been wanting to increase the number of passes attempted in games to back up the Panthers’ dominating rushing attack. Beauford said he was a little surprised to get the pass call that early.
“But we knew we had a matchup we wanted,” Beauford said. “It just opens up other options for us.”
Luke Evans spearheaded the Panthers’ defense, sacking Hardin twice in the first half.
“We know we want to win games and want to win a championship,” Evans said. “I just have a love of the game. I’m just trying to get better and play for the people beside me.”
J.D. Moore scored three times for the Panthers, on runs of 9 and 14 yards and on an 80-yard kickoff return. Freshman linebacker Ty Cade ran in a fumble recovery in the first quarter as Abbeville went up 35-0.
Martico Jackson and Tyrell Haddon joined Beauford in scoring in the second quarter. The Panthers then rested their starters on offense and defense, but that didn’t end the scoring.
Hi’Mize Rayford had a touchdown run in the third quarter, and, on the ensuing possession, sophomore defensive back CJ Vance picked off Hardin and returned it for another Panther TD.
Backup running back Antonio Harrison scored in the fourth quarter, and Moore’s kickoff return for a touchdown gave the Panthers the school record for points. The previous record was 78.
Hardin and receiver Jadon Scott accounted for most of the offense for the Lions (4-7). Hardin had 60 yards passing and 70 yards rushing. Scott had 55 yards rushing and 60 yards receiving.
Abbeville 35 21 14 15 — 85
Lewisville 0 8 6 8 — 22
A — J.D. Moore 14 run (Dylan Beauford kick)
A — Navi Marshall 30 pass from Thomas Beauford (Dylan Beauford kick)
A — Thomas Beauford 8 run (Dylan Beauford kick)
A — Moore 9 run (Dylan Beauford kick)
A — Ty Cade 19 fumble recovery (Dylan Beauford kick)
L — Jadon Scott 26 pass from Demetric Hardin (Scott pass from Hardin)
A — Martico Jackson 12 run (Ross Cobb kick)
A — Thomas Beauford 10 run (Cobb kick)
A — Tyrell Haddon 20 run (Cobb kick)
A — Hi’Mize Rayford 6 run (Cobb kick)
A — C.J. Vance 43 interception return (Cobb kick)
L — Hardin 59 run (conversion failed)
A — Antonio Harrison 19 run (Jhalyn Shuler pass from Beauford)
L — Scott 15 run (Deven McCrorey run)
A — Moore 81 kickoff return (Addison Nickles kick)
Rushing — A: Tyrell Haddon 4-87, J’Marion Burton 2-50, Cruz Temple 2-41, Thomas Beauford 3-32, Antonio Harrison 3-32, Martico Jackson 4-29, J.D. Moore 3-21, Navi Marshall 1-6, Hi’Mize Rayford 2-4. L: Demetric Hardin 14-70, Jadon Scott 9-55, Deven McCrorey 9-35, Jayden Barnes 1-4, Luke Harris 1-3.
Passing — A: Thomas Beauford 2-2-0-68. L: Demetric Hardin 7-15-1-66.
Receiving — A: J.D. Moore 1-38, Navi Marshall 1-30. L: Jadon Scott 6-60, Deven McCrorey 1-6.
Records: Abbeville 10-0, Lewisville 4-7
Next game: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Andrew Jackson at Abbeville (second round of Class 2A state playoffs)