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CERRO GORDO – Seniors Xander Axelberg and Cameron Eady scored 3 touchdowns each to lead West Columbus to a 53-9 non-conference football victory over West Bladen Friday night.

Xander Axelberg scooped up a Knight fumble on the 2nd snap of the game and raced 45 yards for a touchdown. Ten seconds before halftime Xander Axelberg returned a pass interception 73 yards for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 27-0 at halftime.

Axelberg’s 3rd return TD of the game was a 24-yard return of a blocked punt for the final score of the game with 6:05 left on the clock.

Eady rushed for 172 yards on 12 carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 2, 71 and 2 yards. Eady’s 71-yard TD run was on the 1st snap of the 2nd half.

After Eady’s 2nd touchdown, Knight senior Tydrick Stewart fielded the ensuing kickoff, darted around the left side and scooted 83 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Cade Allen kicked the extra point to trim the margin to 33-7.

Stewart piled up 246 yards of return yardage on 8 kick-off returns. Junior Stefane Jessup also returned a 3rd quarter kickoff 55 yards.

Knight senior Ahmir Stepps blocked a Viking punt into the end zone for a safety with 9:24 remaining that trimmed the margin to 47-9.

Other Viking touchdowns came on a 16-yard run by junior Jaylen Bellamy, a 2-yard run by junior Unique Kelly and a 28-yard pass from junior James Craven Axelberg to junior Triston Freeman. Junior Ryan Strickland connected on 5 of 8 extra point kicks.

“It was a tough night,” said Knight Coach Stanley Williams. “We have got to go back to the drawing board and have a heart check.”

Jessup led the Knight defense with 6 tackles. Senior Aaron Wren sacked the Viking quarterback for a 7-yard loss and finished with 5 tackles. Senior Tyler Ward and juniors Aaron Lewis and Cornelius Esters had 5 tackles each. Senior Deonte Lacy dropped the Viking quarterback for a 4-yard loss and had 4 tackles total.

The Knights will travel to South Brunswick – a 44-28 winner over Midway – Friday night.

West Bladen          0-  0-  7- 2—9
West Columbus  14-13-20-6—53
WC — Xander Axelberg 45 fumble return (Ryan Strickland kick)
WC — Jaylen Bellamy 16 run (Strickland kick)
WC — Cameron Eady 2 run (Strickland kick)
WC — X. Axelberg 75 interception return (kick failed)
WC — Eady 71 run (kick failed)
WB — Tydrick Stewart 83 kickoff return (Cade Allen kick)
WC — Unique Kelly 1 run (Strickland kick)
WC — Triston Freeman 28 pass from James Craven (Strickland kick)
WB — Safety, Ahimir Stepps blocked punt
WC — X. Axelberg 18 blocked punt return (kick failed)

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