Upson Lee 37, Pike County 0
Markevious Robinson: 4 carries, 55 yards, 13.6 avg
Quay Reviere: 18 carries, 48 yards, TD
O’qualon Harris: 1 carry, 45 yards, TD
Kalen Puckett: 5 carries, 22 yards, TD
Michael Smith: 4 carries, 19 yards
Cameron Traylor: 1 carry, 16 yards, TD
Ty Montfort: 4 carries, 8 yards
Tamarion White: 1 carry, 4 yards
Kalen Puckett: 8 comp, 13 att, 62%, 170 yards, TD, 0 Int
Wyquavious Battle: 5 rec, 153 yards, TD
Damian Leonard: 1 rec, 15 yards
Donovan King: 2 rec, 2 yards
Kalen Puckett: 2 punts, 62 yards, 31.0 avg, long of 52
Did You Know???
-Upson Lee’s all-time record against Pike Co is now 3-1
-Upson Lee is now 18-6 in season opening games
-The 95 yard scoring pass from Kalen Puckett to Wyquavious Battle is the longest pass completion in UL history, breaking the old record of 82 yards from Fred Bussey to Terrell King vs Eagle’s Landing in 2004
-Pike County had only one yard of total offense and zero first downs in the second half of the game on Friday night.
-This was Upson Lee’s 14th shutout in school history and is the first since a 3-0 victory over Harris County in 2010
-Kalen Puckett’s 13 pass attempts and 8 completions give him 283 attempts ad 137 completions in his career, making him the UL all-time leader in both categories.
-Wyqauvious Battle’s 153 yards receiving is the 2nd highest single-game total in UL history, trailing only Charlie Walker’s 191 yard total vs. Forest Park in 1993.
*Did You Know courtesy of Jim Fowler
Three weeks after the first high school games were played in Georgia, the Upson Lee Knights finally got their chance to step onto the field for the first time and kickoff their 2015 season.
The Knights welcomed the Pike County Pirates to Matthews Field, a place where Upson Lee had only played the Pirates once, earning a 28-21 victory in 2013. On Friday night, Upson Lee never let the Pirates gain any momentum, limiting them to just 67 yards of total offense in a 37-0 shutout victory.
“It’s always nice to get that first win of the season,” said UL Head Coach Tommy Parks. “We had a lot of unanswered questions heading into the game on Friday. Our scrimmage game had been cut short because of the weather, and we had bye last week, where Pike had already had a full scrimmage and a regular season game. I felt like we executed pretty well, and also had our legs under us. We did not have any major cramping issues, and the guys seemed to be in good shape. We were able to roll in multiple people defensively and that helped us stay fresh for the full 48 minutes.”
In the opening stretches of the game, both teams failed to do much offensively. The Knights tried to get their running game going with Quay Reviere. The 5-10, 205-pound senior tallied some yards up the middle of the Pirates defense, but the Knights were forced to attempt a field goal, which sailed wide right off the boot of junior Rich Stewart.
The Knights’ defense kept the Pirates offense from doing just about anything. Pike County completed a couple of passes in the flats, but senior defensive backs Erik Foster and Zakarriyan Walker were there for the stops for minimal gains.
The Pirates did force the Knights into tough field position inside their own five-yard line late in the first quarter. However, a pass from Kalen Puckett to Wyquavious Battle changed all of that.
Battle fielded Puckett’s pass at the five-yard line, made one move, got a nice block from Donovan King, and off to the races he went, 95 yards for a touchdown. The pass play was the longest pass completion in Upson Lee history, breaking the old record of 82 yards set back in 2004. Stewart connected on the PAT, and the Knights led 7-0 with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
On the next Pirates possession, Upson Lee’s defense would get the ball back for the Knights with great field position. Senior David Marshall recovered a fumble near midfield, one of two fumble recoveries in the game for the Division I prospect.
Two plays later, the Knights handed the ball off to O’qualon Harris on a jet sweep. Harris hit the sidelines, got another great block from King, and blazed down the sidelines for a 45-yard TD run. Stewart’s PAT was good, and with just 17 seconds left in the first quarter, the Knights led 14-0.
In the second quarter of the game, the Knights started to get their running game going full force. Upson Lee junior Markevious Robinson broke off four touchdown runs on the night, but unfortunately all four runs were called back because of holding penalties. Robinson still finished the game with a team high 55 yards on just four carries.
“We have got to cut down on the penalties,” said Parks. “We had some big plays called back because of penalties. We also had bad field position on a few occasions because of penalties. We need to clean that up.”
The Knights scored another touchdown in the second quarter. This time is was Kalen Puckett who scampered into the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run. Stewart’s third PAT was good, and with 9:44 left in the first half, UL held a comfortable 21-0 lead.
That’s the way the first half would end, with the Knights leading 21-0, and the second half of the game would not get any better for the visiting Pirates.
It would not take long in the third quarter for the Knights to add to their 21-0 lead. With 9:32 left in the third quarter, Upson Lee senior Quay Reviere scored his first touchdown of the season from one yard out, capping off a six-play, 34-yard drive. Stewart’s PAT was good, and UL led 28-0.
The Knights would tack on a 20-yard field goal from Stewart late in the third quarter to make it 31-0, and with many of the Knights junior varsity players in the game in the fourth quarter, UL’s junior varsity quarterback Cameron Traylor scored the first varsity touchdown of his career on a 16-yard run, sealing the Knights 37-0 victory. Upson Lee’s Demarous Dawson also had an interception for the Knights in the fourth quarter.
“I really felt like we did a good job of being disciplined,” said Parks. “We did a good job on special teams, getting everyone on the field that should be there. Special teams can make or break you in many games, and we did a good job tonight. I also thought defensively that Coach (Cedric) Stegall and his defensive coaches did a great job. Anytime you can hold your opponent to just one yard of offense in a half, it’s pretty special.
“I also want to say thank you to all of the fans that showed up to support us. We were able to play some kids that have never gotten to play at the varsity level, and after the game they talked about how excited they were to play in front of so many people. The players and us as coaches really feed off of the crowd, and the energy level Friday night was incredible.”
Upson Lee’s next test will come on Friday night when they travel to Macon to take on the Northeast-Macon Raiders at Thompson Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.