Augusta Christian's first football game of the year was over almost as soon as it began.
The Lions, ranked No. 2 in the SCISA Class AAA preseason poll, faced No. 5 Orangeburg Prep on the road to begin the football season Friday night.
The difference between the No. 2 and No. 5 teams in SCISA was quickly exposed.
Augusta Christian beat up on the home-team Indians 49-7 with an explosive offense and dominating defense. The Lions led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 at halftime. A running clock in the second half sped the game to a quick ending.
"We talked to our kids about coming in and setting a tone early," Lane said.
The Lions did that with two first-quarter interceptions by linebacker Travis Cerasuolo (one returned for a touchdown) and an efficient rushing game from quarterback Tyler Bourdo. The fleet-footed senior ran the ball twice in the first quarter and scored both times. He finished the night with five carries for 51 yards and four touchdowns.
"You don't walk away from a game like this and point at any one player," Lane said. "Every kid who stepped on the field made a contribution. That is the key to having a chance to be successful. Everybody accepted their role and was willing to be a small piece of the big picture."
That same philosophy will have to be in place again this Friday when a much tougher opponent travels to Augusta. The Lions will face Charlotte-Latin, and the memories of a blowout loss a year ago are still vivid in the minds of many Augusta Christian players.
"Last year we went in there and thought they were no good, but they were really good," Cerasuolo said. "This game gives us a lot of confidence. It all starts on the defensive side. The defensive line needs to be able to get a good push."
That's what happened Friday against Orangeburg Prep, but it won't be as easy to duplicate when Charlotte-Latin comes. The defending Class AAA state champions in the North Carolina private school ranks beat up Augusta Christian last year 56-11.
"The thing we'll have to remind our kids about is we were on the other side of the scoreboard this time last year against Charlotte-Latin," Lane said. "You have to stand on that side of the sidelines some. Hopefully in this victory we understood was it was like to be on the other side of that scoreboard. That's why we're playing these folks. We want to get to that level, and you don't get there unless you play teams at that level."
Friday's home opener against Charlotte-Latin is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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