Joey Hylinski connected with Vic Lindsay on a long touchdown pass Friday night, bringing to their feet the fans who had come to see Legion Collegiate Academy play its first game.
Later, Colin Muschik drilled a field goal. Liam Graham scored on a quarterback keeper.
Unfortunately, none of those results will count in officials stats. But they certainly matter.
Legion got the win, 2-0, in its first game, but not in a traditional way.
Legion’s opponent, the Greenwood Raptors, did not show up for the game. The Lancers won by forfeit.
“In 32 years of coaching high school football, I’ve never had a team just not show up, not call,” said Legion head coach Strait Herron. “As of Tuesday, I got a text from them that said they’d be here (at) 7:30 tonight to play. They didn’t come, they didn’t show, (and) they didn’t call.
“It’s pretty sad and embarrassing.”
The team “took something that was bad and turned into something good,” to quote its coach. The Lancers put on a 45-minute scrimmage, introducing the team to its supporters, while getting in some extra work.
“We got better tonight,” Herron said. “This was pretty good for us, just getting used to being on the sidelines and changing out teams, and lining up on the field with officials. That was really good.”
Herron credited defensive coordinator Bobby Carroll with helping to handle the scheduling responsibilities, despite the unfortunate outcome.
“The game was set. I talked to the guy (from the Raptors) this week,” Herron said.
Several representatives from Legion reported after the game that multiple calls to the team were blocked.
Herron said the added responsibilities of serving both as athletic director and head coach is a different challenge than any he has faced.
“It hasn’t been easy. I keep telling myself that I’m spoiled. I spoiled myself,” Herron said. “What I did at South Pointe, working my butt off and raising money and trying to build that program into a top-notch high school program, it spoiled me. I spoiled myself. This has been a learning experience, a huge learning experience.
“I’m gonna tell you, this is gonna be a great situation once we get going.”
For Herron and his 1-0 Lancers, the focus now shifts to a game with Region 4-A St. John’s next Friday night, to be played on Johns Island, near Charleston.
“I think we’ll be even hungrier now,” Herron said. “I think they’ll be ready to roll. I think they’ll get better this week.”
Herron implored his team in his post-practice remarks to keep its focus.
“Do not worry or get upset over things you can’t control,” Herron said. “Do your best, thinking of others first, and let God handle the rest. That’s all you can do. We did our best.”