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Defense sparks North Augusta in season-opening rout of Lakeside

North Augusta 41, Lakeside 16

Posted: August 20, 2016 - 11:02pm

NORTH AUGUSTA — A little rain on North Augusta’s turf didn’t slow down DeJuan Bell and his defensive mates Friday night.

Bell and the Yellow Jackets’ defense set the tone early with multiple interceptions for touchdowns as North Augusta ran away with the season opener over Lakeside, 41-16, at the Jackets Nest. The two swapped touchdowns on opening possessions, but the close score ended as North Augusta picked off four Lakeside passes in the first half, returning three for touchdowns.

“After the second one, I thought we were done, but the defense kept stepping up,” Bell said. “I want to thank the defensive line. They put the pressure on them to force mistakes.”
Bell broke two interceptions for scores on consecutive series late in the first quarter, totaling 50 yards on the returns. After celebrating his second score, Bell had given the Yellow Jackets a 20-9 lead. It didn’t end there. After a Yellow Jacket touchdown pass, Bell’s defensive teammate, Robert Betosky, returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown and 34-9 lead going to halftime.
“You don’t get three interceptions for touchdowns in a game,” North Augusta coach Brian Thomas said. “That was special.”

North Augusta (1-0) let off the gas in the second half except for an 83-yard touchdown pass from Washington to Jack Smith. Lakeside (0-1) produced a fourth-quarter score on an 11-yard pass from Will Childers to Lathan McLaurin to cap the scoring.

“We got a win, and that’s the big thing,” Thomas said. “The defense settled in well. We had early mistakes, some of that from nerves.”

Washington recorded 123 passing yards on three completions, and he added 27 rushing yards. Derius Gibson ran 15 times for 103 yards.

Lakeside’s Childers and Nick Reid split time at quarterback, with Reid picking up 105 rushing yards and a touchdown but only three completions and two interceptions. Childers also had two interceptions but went 6 for 13 for 61 yards.

It marked the fifth consecutive win for North Augusta in the series. Similar to last year, the Yellow Jackets harassed Lakeside’s quarterback and shut down the line of scrimmage.

It was also Bell’s second big game against the Panthers after returning a punt for a touchdown in last season’s opener.

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