Upson Lee 40 @ NS-Columbus 17
1st Downs- UL 23, NSC 13
Rushes- UL 57, NSC 34
Rushing Yards- UL 319, NSC 102
Passes- UL 12, NSC 19
Passes Completed- UL 8, NSC 6
Passing Yards- UL 145, NSC 118
Total Yards- UL 464, NSC 220
Punts- UL 1, NSC 2
Punting Yards- UL 35, NSC 43
Punting Avg- UL 35.0, NSC 21.5
Penalties- UL 2, NSC 3
Penalty Yards- UL 25, NSC 45
Fumbles- UL 1, NSC 0
Fumbles Lost- UL 1, NSC 0
Total Turnovers- UL 1, NSC 0
3rd Down Attempts- UL 12, NSC 11
3rd Downs Converted- UL 5, NSC 2
Points- UL 40, NSC 17
Quay Reviere: 30 carries, 175 yards, 5.8 avg, 3 TDs
Markevious Robinson: 14 carries, 57 yards, 4.1 avg
Oqualon Harris: 2 carries, 45 yards, 22.5 avg, TD
Kalen Puckett: 11 carries, 42 yards, 3.8 avg
Kalen Puckett: 12 att, 8 comp, 145 yards, TD
Kalen Puckett: 1 punt, 35 yards
Rich Stewart: 2/2 FG, long of 38 yards, 4/5 PAT
Did You Know???
- Upson Lee’s all-time record vs NS-Columbus is now 2-0
- NS-Columbus has 192 kickoff return yards on 8 returns
- Upson Lee went 10 quarters in a row without giving up a point, the longest scoreless period in Upson Lee history
- Upson Lee’s opponents went 29 consecutive 3rd down attempts without a conversion, before NS-Columbus converted a 3rd down in the third quarter
- Upson Lee’s record when scoring 40 points or more is now a perfect 37-0
*Did You Know is courtesy of Jim Fowler
COLUMBUS – The Upson Lee Knights looked to start the season off with a 3-0 record with a victory over the Northside-Columbus Patriots, just as they did in 2014.
Last season the Patriots beat Upson Lee in just about every statistical category, but the Knights escaped with a 21-13 victory. On Friday, Upson Lee won on paper and on the scoreboard, racking up 464 yards of offense and earning a 40-17 victory.
“I felt like it was the most complete game we’ve played as a team,” said UL Head Coach Tommy Parks. “We were able to get our running game going, and we played pretty well defensively. We still have a lot of corrections to make, but Friday night was a step in the right direction.”
The two teams combined to score 57 points in the game, but in the first quarter both teams struggled to do much offensively. The first big play of the game came on special teams. Northside snapped the ball over the head of their punter, and UL’s Erik Foster tackled the punter for a huge loss.
The Knights scratched the scoreboard first with a 31-yard field goal by junior Rich Stewart, capping off a 10-play, 51-yard drive. With 1:13 left in the first quarter, Upson Lee held a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter belonged to Upson Lee. The Knights were able to stop the Pats once again, with David Marshall blocking a Pats field goal attempt. Five plays later, senior O’qualon Harris took a jet sweep around the end for a 41-yard touchdown run. Stewart added the UL PAT, and with 9:07 left in the half, UL led 10-0.
Upson Lee’s defense again held strong against the Patriots. Northside, known for their power running game, ran for 225 yards last season against the Knights, but on Friday night, UL limited them to just 102 yards rushing, and only 20 yards rushing in the second half of the game.
“Coach Stegall and the other defensive coaches really have the guys playing well,” said Parks. “We were flying around to the ball and making tackles. They had an average starting field position at the 47 yard line. They had a short field for most of the night, and we were able to hold them to just 17 points.”
Upson Lee would strike again at the 4:39 mark of the second quarter, and once again UL’s Rich Stewart connected on a field goal for the Knights, this one coming from 38 yards out and giving Upson Lee a 13-0 lead.
After a nice pooch kick from Stewart on the kick off, Northside was able to return the kick to the 50 yard line. The Patriots had eight kickoff returns for 192 yards in the game, the reason for the Pats’ good field position all night. According to Parks, that was both good and bad.
“It was nice that we had eight kickoffs,” said Parks. “Unfortunately we did not do a good job of covering them. Rich did a nice job with his kicks, but we did not have players in the right positions to make plays. That falls back on me and the other coaches. Special teams is extremely important, and that is something that we will fix.”
Even with good field position, UL held the Pats in check once again. Aquavius Tunstall broke up a pass on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Knights. Six plays later, Quay Reviere capped of a 60-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Rich Stewart added the PAT, and UL led 20-0 at the half.
Northside’s Nathan Robertson drilled a 28-yard field goal forvthe Pats’ first score of the game with 9:00 left in the third quarter, but the Knights would answer back.
Upson Lee QB Kalen Puckett found senior wide receiver Donovan King on a slant pattern over the middle of the field. King caught the pass in stride and hit the sidelines for a 51-yard touchdown pass and catch. Stewart added the PAT, and Upson Lee led 27-3.
After yet another sloppy job for the Knights on kickoff coverage, the Pats had great field position once again. Northside scored their first touchdown of the game on a five-yard run by Kalen Watts. The Pats converted a fourth and long pass to set up the score. The PAT was good, and UL led 27-10.
As the fourth quarter started, the Knights mounted a methodical drive behind the running of Quay Reviere. Upson Lee used 10 plays and went 63 yards, capped off by a Reviere four-yard touchdown run. Stewart’s PAT was no good, but UL held a 33-10 lead.
The Pats would add another touchdown on a 23-yard pass, again coming on fourth down. However, Reviere would break loose for his longest run of the season, a 51-yard touchdown run to seal the Knights 40-17 victory.
Reviere finished with 175 yards on 30 carries, while rushing for three touchdowns. Kalen Puckett completed eight of 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown.
Upson Lee will host the Baldwin Braves at Matthews Field on Friday, starting region play.
Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.