Road Warriors: LaGrange blows out Upson Lee to win second straight road game

Published 11:56 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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LaGrange scored 48 unanswered points to earn a dominant 48-7 win over previously undefeated Upson Lee on Friday night.

The Knights thought it was going to be an easy night for themselves when they got the home crowd off their feet with an early touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. 

The Grangers did not waver and delivered one of the most impressive performances of the Matt Napier era. 

LaGrange dominated in all three phases and it started on offense with Malik Kemp scoring on a rushing touchdown in the waning moments of the first quarter. 

Defense took the baton from there with Gryson Cockrell coming up with a massive interception on the ensuing Knights drive. He returned it all the way for a touchdown — which would have been the third straight game the defense had scored in to start the season — but the return was waved off due to a holding call. 

It would not matter as the Grangers would eventually capitalize on the following offensive possession, driving down the field and finishing it with Jonathan Keys getting in the end zone to give LaGrange its first lead of the game. 

Fellow running back Caydin Thomas was not content to watch his running back counterpart get all the touchdowns and got in on the act himself when he ran in a touchdown late in the second quarter to give LaGrange a 21-7 heading into the break.

This is when the LaGrange special teams made an impact. Gavin Barlow took the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards into the end zone to give the Grangers a commanding 28-7 lead and quiet the home crowd.

It was the Granger show from there as they poured it on with the Knights putting up little resistance down the stretch.

Steven Hill caught a touchdown pass from Kemp in the third quarter to cap off an impressive day for the wide receiver. Hill broke out with four catches for 88 yards last time out against Northside and was an even bigger part of the recipe for success this week as he recorded his first touchdown catch of the season.

Thomas, a sophomore, kept up his hot start to the season and caught the first receiving touchdown of his varsity career on a wheel route in the second half to put the Grangers up 42-7. 

Thomas now leads the team with four total touchdowns from scrimmage through three games.

The Grangers were able to empty their bench in the second half and get some younger players valuable varsity reps.

LaGrange (2-1) has now won two in a row after dropping its season opener. The Grangers will be on the road for the third time in as many weeks next Friday when they travel to Starr’s Mill for their region opener.