LaGrange loses back-and-forth scrimmage with Columbia

Published 10:47 pm Friday, August 11, 2023

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LaGrange lost a back-and-forth scrimmage with Columbia on Friday 26-21 as the Grangers prepare for the 2023 regular season that starts next week.

It was the Grangers who got off on the right foot on Friday. After an opening series punt and a fourth down stop on defense, the Grangers got the ball near midfield and marched down into the end zone when Jonathan Keys plunged over the goal line for a touchdown. Samuel Rodas added the extra point and the Grangers had a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

The lead would only last a few minutes as a costly LaGrange fumble was taken back for six points by the Eagles to cut the deficit to 7-6. 

LaGrange got its lead back a little less than halfway through the third quarter as a big third down pass play to Jardon Stringer set up a 40-yard bomb from Malik Kemp to Nazir Garrett and the Rodas extra point gave LaGrange a 14-6 lead. 

This lead would also not last long as the Eagles tied the game on a 10-yard touchdown run and successful two-point conversion with 2:24 left in the first half. 

Kemp threw an interception on the ensuing Granger drive, but the LaGrange defense bailed him out and held the Eagles to no points on the possession to preserve the tie going into halftime. 

The third quarter was a pretty tame affair as both teams inserted backups and role players into the game. The game sprung to life when Tremez Sellez threw a laser down the right sideline to a wide open Denorayon Reid, who took the ball into the end zone to tie the game before an extra point once again gave the Grangers the lead. 

LaGrange had a chance to extend its lead when the team recovered a botched snap by the Eagles on the Columbus 36-yard line. The Grangers could not capitalize on the good field position and ended up turning the ball over on downs. 

A quick hitting 50-yard run play set up the Eagles inside the red zone and the team was able to finish the drive off with a touchdown and take a 26-21 lead that would last until the end of the game.

The Grangers had their chances late with the team driving the ball inside the 10-yard line before going backwards and ultimately turning the ball over on downs. Columbia picked up a first down and ice the game.

LaGrange will get a chance to brush this scrimmage loss and get back in the saddle next week when they host Carver (Atlanta), who finished top-4 in AAA last season, at Callaway Stadium on Friday in its regular season opener.