Young Seahawks trounced by vengeful Chargers

Published 12:12 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

By Chase Carroll

For the Daily News

AYDEN — The Ayden-Grifton Chargers had the thought of last season’s 26-0 season-opening loss on the road to Southside deep in their minds tonight, and it showed in dominant fashion as they came away with the season-opening 61-0 win over Southside at home.

The game was Ayden-Grifton’s (1-0) from the opening kickoff, as a pooch kick was too difficult to handle for Southside (0-1), and was ultimately recovered by the Chargers to start the game.

After a quick touchdown, another fumble recovery and a blocked punt by the Chargers, the game was blown wide open through the first three possessions of the game, 21-0.

“The coaches said we couldn’t forget about that 26-0 game, it was always in our heads,” Charger Ray Darden said. “We came out right, and all we did was execute.”

Ayden-Grifton never looked back, and was led by the all around dominant play from junior running back/defensive back Michael Webb. Webb made plays all over the field, and found himself in just about every area of the stat sheet, finishing with a rushing touchdown, a fumble recovery, a touchdown-saving interception at the goal-line and a receiving touchdown that took the ankles of multiple defenders with less than 10 seconds to go in the first half.

Despite the flashy stat-line and solid individual performance, Webb cited his teammates as the main reason for his great play in the season opener.

“I think I did good, but I wouldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates,” Webb said. “They really helped me out, and I appreciate them.”

Helping lead the offensive charge for Ayden-Grifton was senior running back Ray Darden, who had two rushing touchdowns on the night. Darden showcased multiple aspects of his game in both touchdown runs. His first touchdown showed great strength, pushing through multiple defenders to reach the end zone. His second touchdown showed great vision to hit the correct hole, and speed to outrun the defenders en route to an 80-yard score.

Southside struggled on both side of the ball tonight. Along with his two touchdowns, Darden ran for 149 yards on eight carries against the Seahawks. Southside was repeatedly gashed on the ground, with the Chargers averaging 11.2 yards per carry.

On the offensive side of the ball the Seahawks weren’t any better. Southside garnered only 102 yards of offense, 52 of which came through the air. Making matters worse was Southside’s inability to hold onto the ball, turning the ball over five times, including four fumbles.

The young and inexperienced Seahawks return to The Nest for week two, where they’ll face the Dixon Bulldogs, who’ll be coming off of a 53-8 loss to White Oak.