No one has scored more touchdowns than Tyler Bourdo this season. The Augusta Christian senior entered last weekend leading the Aiken-Augusta area with his six touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns.
He added four more scores to that total Friday.
Bourdo ran for four touchdowns in one half of play in a 51-38 win over Ben Lippen. It took him only eight carries to tally 116 rushing yards despite being pulled after the opening drive of the third quarter to give the second string a chance to play.
Running back Jay Harmon added to the totals with a 111-yard rushing performance in one half of play. Fullback Corey Critell got up to 52 yards on only four carries.
"I give the credit to the offensive line," Bourdo said. "They're smart. It's not just go block the guy lined up in front of you. They're communicating and going for blocks down field too."
The offensive line boasts four returning starters this year and has owned the space in the trenches. That has allowed Bourdo to put up the dazzling rushing totals.
On the other side of the offensive playbook, Bourdo can throw the football as well. His numbers don't show it, though. The Lions aren't throwing the ball. Mainly, they don't need to.
"We've been in a situation where we were running the ball so effectively and you get up so quick you don't really want to throw the ball," Augusta Christian football coach Bruce Lane said. "We're very efficient in the passing game. We just run the ball so stinking well, it's hard to pass."
Lane's comments smacked of frustration more than pride. He's got one of the best passers the school has seen in the offensive arsenal, but the quarterback's arm probably hasn't been used to its full potential.
The Lions instead have drawn their offense from Bourdo's rushing skills and a pair of top notch tailbacks in Harmon and Critell.
The three teammates have carried the ball 203 times for 858 yards and 26 touchdowns in seven games this season. That's a 4.2 yards per carry average as a team.
With numbers like that, it's no wonder the passing game has taken a back seat this year. Bourdo said he doesn't really mind sticking to the ground game.
"You've got to go with whatever works and whatever the defense gives you," he said. "We've got three great options in the backfield, but if we do pass we're good there. We've got a lot of guys to throw to. There's William Banks. You get him the ball in the open field on a one-yard pass route, and he'll turn it into an 80-yard touchdown."
The Lions' offense might be tested a little more thoroughly now that SCISA Region 1-AAA play is upon them. Augusta Christian faces Cardinal Newman this week, then goes up against a pair of one-loss teams in Hammond and Heathwood Hall the next weeks.
Those games will go a long way in determining who will win the region. Despite reaching the state finals the past two years, the Lions have never won a SCISA region championship.
"That's the first goal even before state," Bourdo said. "We've never done it. We've got to win region first."
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