As they have all season, the Augusta Prep Cavaliers rode a strong rushing attack to victory Friday night.
At home in the opening round of the Glory for Christ playoffs, the Cavaliers racked up 436 yards of total offense – 379 of it on the ground – and blanked East Division foe Skipstone Academy 39-0.
The win was the second of the year for the Cavaliers (9-1, 6-0) against the Warriors (4-5, 2-5) as they advanced to Saturday’s semifinal matchup against the West Division Crown Knights of Woodstock, Ga. (9-2, 6-1) at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta at 1 p.m.
The Knights advanced after beating East Atlanta 17-14.
Despite outscoring opponents 369-115 along the way, head coach Harry Bacheller has seen how much hard work his team has put in preparing for each team they face.
“I feel our scores are misleading,” said Bacheller. “Rarely have we had an “easy” game and the kids work hard for every yard. If we take care of the football and execute, then our scores will be in our favor.”
Running back Kevin Huggins scorched the Warriors for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the teams’ first meeting Oct. 11, but he ran for just 31 yards on 10 carries Friday night.
Quarterback Nate Pylant showed why they are tough to contain as he stepped in, rushing for 177 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries, including an 82-yarder that gave the Cavaliers a 25-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Fullback Nolan Brandon also got his chance behind the Cavaliers’ imposing offensive line, rushing 14 times for 95 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Cavaliers held the Warriors to two first downs, 35 total yards of offense and picked off a pass.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Bacheller, who was an assistant for 10 years at St. Pius X, but he expects the Knights not to be so welcoming.
“Crown is a very good team and well-coached,” Bacheller said. “They are big and strong as well and they should be favored. It will be a true challenge.”