LAMAR — It’s one thing to hold a team to zero points in a playoff game.
It’s something else entirely to hold a team to zero first downs — and no positive yards of offense.
Such was the case for Lamar on Friday against Ware Shoals. The Silver Foxes showed no signs of rust coming off a bye in a thoroughly dominant 64-0 victory at Donald R. Poole Stadium.
Lamar (10-2) will travel to top-ranked Wagener-Salley, a 44-0 winner over McCormick, at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Class A semifinals. The Hornets end the year at 4-8.
“We knew if we came out and played as well as we could play, we’d be able to take care of business,” first-year Lamar coach Chad Wilkes said. “I’m really proud of that. I feel like we’re actually building something — we’re playing better every week. We’re practicing better every week, which is where it starts.
“So yeah, I feel good right now. We’re in a good position for this time of year, but it’s going to get tougher for sure.”
The game featured a running clock from early in the second quarter on as the Hornets had no answers for Lamar’s rushing attack. The Silver Foxes attempted just one pass the entire game on a trick play where the ball wasn’t even thrown by the quarterback.
“We’re going to do whatever we feel like we have to do to win,” Wilkes said. “We have complete confidence in Cam (Galloway), and we’ve got receivers that can make plays. If a team wants to try to take away our running game, I have full confidence our guys will be able to throw it around a little bit, but obviously the strength of our team is running the football.”
That was evident, as seven players scored touchdowns for Lamar. Galloway, Jiaquell James and Ronnie Abson all scored in the first quarter. James, Rashad Johnson and Quan Toney scored in the second quarter for a 48-0 Lamar halftime lead.
Derrick Higgins returned the second-half opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, and Davion Martin ran 27 yards in the fourth quarter for the final points of the night. The Silver Foxes were also a perfect 8 for 8 on two-point conversion attempts and scored on every possession except the last two.
In the meantime, the Silver Fox defense completely smothered the Hornets’ rushing attack. They had minus-yards of offense at halftime and with a running clock and 10-minutes quarters, Ware Shoals had only three possessions in the second half.
“We know that their best player is a guy they like to run a toss sweep to and try to get him out there (on the edge),” Wilkes said. “So we definitely were able to position guys. We play Wagener-Salley next wee,k and they’re going to try and do the same thing, so making sure we’ve got our outside linebackers in a position where they can keep their leverage on any toss sweep, which they did.”
James led the team with 83 yards rushing and the two scores. T.J. Dolford recorded an interception on defense and Mikkel Carraway recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter for the Silver Foxes.
Score by quarter
WS 0 0 0 0 — 0
L 24 24 8 8 — 64
L — Cam Galloway 16 run (D.J. Green run), 9:01.
L — Jiaquell James 5 run (Rashad Johnson run), 5:52.
L — Ronnie Abson 4 run (James run), 1:37.
L — Johnson 15 run (Johnson run), 10:45.
L — James 1 run (Jahiem Jones pass from Galloway), 7:02.
L — Quan Toney 16 run (Toney run), 2:24.
L — Derrick Higgins 90 kickoff return (Davion Martin run), 9:25.
L — Martin 27 run (Toney run), 9:08.
RUSHING — WS: Dana Givens 1-(-5); Jalen Coates 2-(-4); Isaiah Wideman 6-1; Jarmarius Goodman 5-0; David Blakely 3-2; Alan Pedraza 1-(-4); Alex Styer 1-0; Johnathan Hill 1-2; #1 1-(-4). L: Jiaquell James 6-83, 2 TDs; Quan Toney 5-59, TD; Cam Galloway 3-54, TD; Davion Martin 2-42, TD; D.J. Green 1-24; Rashad Johnson 1-15, TD; #34 1-10; Ronnie Abson 2-9, TD.
PASSING — WS: Jake Calvert 1-7-3, INT
RECEIVING — WS: Jarmarius Goodman 1-3.