Augusta Christian’s regular-season finale was a thriller that the Lions lost by a single point to longtime nemesis Hammond.
But the Lions had to wait only two weeks to get a shot at revenge.
A 41-25 home victory over Ben Lippen on Friday night set the stage for a rematch in the semifinals of the South Carolina Independent School Association Class AAA playoffs.
Augusta Christian (8-2) has not beaten Hammond since 2005, also the last year the Lions won the state championship.
Down 7-0 early against Ben Lippen, Augusta Christian got second-quarter touchdown runs of 2 and 21 yards from Lee Banks.
The latter came with 26 seconds left in the half and put the Lions up 14-7.
While the Falcons scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, Augusta Christian responded with three of its own.
Dae-vonte Shanks had a 40-yard kickoff return; William Wolf had a 28-yard fumble return; and Adonis Roberson had a 28-yard TD run.
Banks capped off the victory with a 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 144 yards on 14 carries.
Ben Lippen out-gained Augusta Christian 393-289 in total yardage, but the Lions forced three turnovers.
Cavs’ season ends
Though a season in which Augusta Prep earned its first playoff berth, then won a state playoff game, ended in a 35-7 loss to Holy Spirit Prep on Saturday night, Harry Bacheller is encouraged by the progress.
The Cavaliers head coach noted just how much improvement and progress his team showed this season.
The most encouraging aspect is that 17 of the 23 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores. The team loses only three seniors heading into next year.
Against Holy Spirit in the semifinals of the Georgia-Alabama Independent League semifinals, things started rough.
Augusta Prep fumbled six times in the first half and also had an interception returned for a touchdown.
Bacheller said he doesn’t believe it puts a damper on what turned out to be a solid year in the program’s first varsity season.