Al Hughes earned his 100th coaching victory Friday night as ninth-ranked Lovejoy overwhelmed Druid Hills 58-3 at North DeKalb Stadium in Chamblee. The Wildcats (4-1) won the 2-AAAAAA region opener for both teams in the first meeting between the schools.
After a three-and-out on their first possession, the Wildcat offense regrouped to score on five consecutive possession to lead 43-3 at the break. Quarterback Alejandro Bennefield threw four first-half touchdown passes, including three to 6-foot-6 tight end A.J. Jackson, an Auburn commitment. Jackson caught four passes for 82 yards overall, and Bennefield finished 5-for-7 passing for 118 yards.
“They started a little slow tonight, but they picked it up pretty quick,” Hughes said of the offense. “We don’t talk to our kids about scoring points. We just want to come out and dominate, and we did a little bit of that tonight.”
El Malik Roberson El recovered a blocked punt at the 35 and ran in untouched for a score, giving Lovejoy a 29-3 lead early in the second quarter. Randy Anwanyu returned an interception for a touchdown on the game’s last play from scrimmage.
“Our tradition has always been to defer when we can and put our defense on the field,” Hughes said. “Our defense has led us for the last several years. We blocked 39 kicks last year and got another one tonight. That’s what they do.”
Running back Travis Custis, a Georgia Tech commitment, rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on eight first-half carries. He was relieved early in the third quarter after going for 62 yards and a score on two runs. Custis also had a 50-yard score negated by a holding penalty.
Druid Hills took the opening possession and drove inside the Lovejoy 20 before Ben Whealler kicked a 36-yard field goal. After Jaquan Johnson’s 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, the Red Devils never mustered another play more than 15 yards.
Johnson rushed for 60 yards and returned a kickoff 70 yards in the second quarter for Druid Hills (2-2).
Lovejoy 21 – 22 – 7 – 8 – 58
Druid Hills 3 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 3
Druid Hills – Ben Whealler 36 FG
Lovejoy – Alejandro Bennefield 10 pass to A.J. Jackson (Jaime Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – Bennefield 22 pass to Jackson (Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – Bennefield 28 pass to JuMichael Ramos (Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – El Malik Roberson El 35 run (James Leverette run)
Lovejoy – Travis Custis 15 run (Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – Bennefield 16 pass to Jackson (Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – Custis 12 run (Nunez kick)
Lovejoy – Randy Anwanyu 20 int return (Camaron Hill pass)