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In their second Region 2-3A game of the week, the Powdersville Patriots cruised to a 56-12 beatdown of the Carolina Academy Trojans in front of a large homecoming crowd on Friday night.

The Patriots improved their record to 8-0 (3-0 region), remaining undefeated.

Former players ran out with the team at the start, celebrating a decade of Powdersville football.

Powdersville’s Head Coach Robert Mustar was humble after the game, saying, “Any time we get a win, we feel excited about it and we’re fortunate about it.”

The game opened up with three unanswered touchdown passes thrown from Powdersville quarterback Eli Hudgins to Drake Sloan. The duo’s 1st touchdown was a 22-yard pass, the 2nd a 46-yard bomb while Hudgins was scrambling to his right under heavy Trojan defensive pressure.

Sloan caught 3 passes, amassing 80 yards, and all three were touchdowns. Hudgins completed 6 of 6 passes for 135 yards and 4 TDs.

Late in the 1st quarter, junior linebacker Jalen Rambert picked up a fumble and rumbled down to the 5-yard line but it was called back because of a block-in-the-back penalty.

On the 1st play of the 2nd quarter, Hudgins hit Sloan in the corner of the end zone on a 12-yard pass for their 3rd touchdown of the game.

Hudgins’ 4th and final touchdown was a 35-yard pass to senior Tank Slade. Hudgins was done for the night in the middle of the 2nd quarter, and freshman quarterback Hayden Assemian entered the game with a 28-0 lead.

Assemian completed 7 out of 8 throws for 90-yards, including 2 touchdowns. His first was a 37-yard pass to Clay Davis. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Johnny McCoy to put the Patriots up 42-0 at halftime.

“There was pressure coming from both sides, so I believed in my receiver and he made the play.”, said Assemian about the touchdown pass to McCoy.

After being shut out in the 1st half, Carolina came out and scored two touchdowns against Powdersville’s backups. A 2-yard rushing touchdown by Quez Sligh was followed by a failed 2-point conversion. Sligh was an offensive highlight for the Trojans, rushing for 109 yards on 16 carries. 

After Carolina’s JaSean Bowens threw a 6-yard touchdown to Amari Wilkins, Carolina failed another 2-pt conversion and the Patriot defense quickly ended the Trojans’ scoring outburst.

The 3rd quarter ended with a Patriot interception by Kole Coleman. Coleman had a sack, along with senior Luke Hiller and Trez Fowler adding a sack each.

Due to the postponement of varsity games from Friday to Monday for both Carolina and Powdersville, Carolina was forced to cancel the JV game against Powdersville on Thursday. Twenty-eight JV players suited up for Powdersville on Friday for the varsity -- all 28 played in the game. The JV offense started the 4th quarter.

“They were able to develop, so we were trying to build some depth,” said Mustar after the game. “They played hard; for a weird week, they were focused this week. I’m excited about what’s to come.

“We had the JV guys out tonight, so it was fun. We just did good as a team, we gotta keep doing it until we get all the way to where we want to be.”

Freshman Elijah Huggins ran past everyone into the end zone for a 57-yard rushing touchdown. Brandon Waldrop added a 27-yard rushing touchdown for good measure.

As running back Thomas Williams went down with a leg injury at Berea, Powdersville’s run game was inevitably affected by his loss. The Patriots had a trio of players step into the position.

“Xavier Fowler, Khalil Canty, Owen Lewis, were three guys that went back there for us at the running back position and they did very well,” Mustar said. “That’s something that a man goes down, somebody else needs to step up and we had three guys get quality reps tonight.”

Mustar said there was some “promising news” about Williams and his injury. 

Fowler, Canty, and Lewis were rushing leaders for Powdersville, combining for 146 yards on 14 carries.

In region action next week, Powdersville travels to Blue Ridge (1-7, 1-2) in hopes of caging the Fighting Tigers, while Carolina Academy (0-7, 0-4) hosts Berea (4-4, 2-2).