SHANNON – Keon McGaughy was nearly too exhausted to smile.
Then again, his coach was happy enough for the both of them.
McGaughy, Shannon’s senior tailback, turned in a performance for the ages Friday night, amassing 358 total yards and four touchdowns in leading the Red Raiders to a grueling 42-34 win over visiting Memphis East.
Regarding McGaughy’s big night, Shannon head coach Chad Cook wasn’t surprised.
“This guy has grown so much,” Cook said of McGaughy, who rushed for 322 yards and three scores and added a 35-yard touchdown reception. “He’s drained after tonight, but he’s really become a leader for us.”
McGaughy’s inspired effort wasn’t the only sterling performance by the Red Raiders. Senior QB Legilbert Bogan threw for three touchdowns, wideout Chris Davis caught two scores, and the Shannon offensive line shredded a big, physical Memphis East defense.
“I tell you what, our offensive line came out and did extra work this week and it showed tonight,” Cook said. “They got after a good football team and really opened up some holes. This win shows the character of our football team.”
Shannon’s offense clicked all night, rolling up 516 total yards.
The Red Raiders bolted out to a 14-0 lead, as McGaughy scored a pair of touchdowns in the first three minutes of the game. The senior tailback had two scores from 4 yards out and another from 8 yards away on the night.
Mustangs hang tough
Though Shannon never trailed, the visiting Mustangs wouldn’t go away. After Shannon led 20-12 at the hall, both teams scored 22 points each in the third quarter and the Red Raiders carried a 42-34 lead into the final period.
One huge defensive stand and 112 McGaughy yards later, the Red Raiders gutted out the physical eight-point win.
“To beat a team like this after beating West Point last week says a lot about this group,” Cook said. “On paper, we probably shouldn’t be able to beat these teams, but on the field, our guys get the job done. I can’t say enough about this team.”
Trailing by eight with just over three minutes left, Memphis East had a chance to score the tying touchdown late, facing a 4th-and-2 at the Shannon 7-yard line. The Red Raiders’ defense stiffened, denying a first down and securing the win.
Brandon Walker/NEMS Daily Journal