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Gamecocks run wild
Screven County fullback Jeremy Johnson (48) bowls over multiple Westside tackles on the way to a 32-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Friday in Sylvania.

Box Score
                     WHS    SCHS

First Downs        9        17
Rush Yards        26-96    42-381
Pass Yards        133        28
Total Yards        229        409
C-A-I             11-21-1    2-7-0
Turnovers             1        0
Penalties           1-10        3-35

Individual Leaders
Rushing: WHS:
Vaughn, 17-47. SCHS: Johnson, 17-217, 4 TD.
Passing: WHS: Lampkin, 11-21, 133yards, TD. SCHS: Mingle, 2 of 7, 28 yards.
Receiving: WHS: Freeman, 5-68, TD. SCHS: Robinson, 1-19.

WHS          0    7    7    7 — 20   
SCHS        6    22    13    0 — 41

1st Quarter

6:03 — Johnson (SCHS) 10 run (kick failed)
2nd Quarter
8:58 — Robinson (SCHS) 15 run (Johnson run)
3:51 — Mingle (SCHS) 21 run (kick failed)
1:19 — Johnson (SCHS) 32 run (Johnson run)
1:04 — Freeman (WHS) 91 kickoff return (Craw kick)
3rd Quarter
7:23 — Johnson (SCHS) 10 run (Smith kick)
2:54 — Freeman (WHS) 3 pass from Lampkin (Craw kick)
0:48 — Mingle (SCHS) 5 run (kick failed)   
4th Quarter
4:25 — Lampkin (WHS) 32 run (kick failed)

    SYLVANIA — In what was supposed to be a meeting of region powers, one team had its lights knocked right out.
    Screven County (6-1, 3-0 Region 3-AA) continued its remarkable turnaround season with a dominating 41-20 win over Westside, Augusta (5-2, 2-2) Friday night at Kelly Memorial Stadium.
    Gamecocks senior running back Jeremy Johnson continued his All-State-caliber season with 17 carries for 217 yards and four touchdowns on the night.
    The Patriots had no answers for Screven County all night as the Gamecocks racked up 409 total yards and scored nearly at will until the starters came out in the second half.
    “This was a good one for us to get,” Screven coach Ron Duncan said. “I thought that we came out and played a solid game right from the start. It’s nice to win a big game, but that just makes the next one even bigger.”
    The Gamecocks wasted no time in jumping out in front.
    After stopping the Patriots on fourth down on the game’s first drive, Screven quickly raced down the field. Quarterback Aikeem Mingle converted on third-and-6 with a 31-yard option keeper to the Westside 34. Johnson did most of the heavy lifting from there, capping off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run 5:57 into the game.
    The defense was also up to the challenge. The opening kickoff set up Westside at midfield and the Patriots advanced as far as the Screven 29 before surrendering the ball, but didn’t run another play in Screven territory for the rest of the half.
    “Our defense really stepped it up tonight,” Duncan said. “Westside is a dangerous team. They had a few guys that could have given us problems, but we did a great job of shutting them down most of the night.”
    Leading 6-0 in the second quarter, the Gamecocks broke the game wide open.
    Screven decided to go for it on fourth-and-4 near midfield, and Johnson converted with a five-yard run. He broke loose for 28 more on the next snap and Jimmie Robinson scored from 15 yards out two plays later.
    On their next drive, the Gamecocks again cruised deep into Patriot territory. Aikeem Mingle (28 passing yards, 90 rushing yards) rolled to his left on a play-action pass, but couldn’t find an open receiver. Mingle tucked it and ran, avoiding one defender, breaking the tackle of another, and scampering in from 21 yards out.
    Johnson added his second touchdown of the night on a 32-yard run with just over a minute to go in the first half.
    “Westside was able to take some things away from us, but we were able to find other ways to make the offense work,” Duncan said. “Getting ahead early was a big help. We came out strong and really played well with the momentum.”
    Westside finally broke onto the scoreboard following the Johnson run as Lawrence Freeman returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to make it a 28-7 game at halftime.
    The Patriots regained possession to begin the second half by recovering an onside kick, but Donta Wilburn intercepted Jalen Lampkin to end the threat.
    Screven went right back to work and marched down the field as a 33-yard run from Mingle set up a 10-yard Johnson scoring run.
    The Patriots finally put some offense together late in the third quarter.
    Westside converted twice on fourth down to keep the drive alive. Faced with fourth-and-goal at the Screven 3, the Patriots converted again as Lampkin found Freeman on a fade route.
    Screven recovered the ensuing onside kick and drove for another touchdown as Mingle scored from five yards out — his only run of less than 20 yards on the night — to make it 41-14 after three quarters of play.
    Lampkin finished the scoring with a 32-yard run in the closing minutes, but Johnson and the rest of the Screven starters had long since departed the game and watched the running clock count down another victory.
    With the win, the Gamecocks now face a showdown with East Laurens next Friday in Dublin. Whichever team wins will control its own destiny in the race for the Region 3-AA championship and a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.