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Thursday, October 11, 2012
A 27-point third quarter helped boost North Augusta High School to a blowout win in its first Region 5-AAAA football game of the season, at Lexington to the tune of 44-6.
In the 2011 season, the Yellow Jackets lost at home against Lexington, 59-56, in what was described in the Aiken Standard as an “all-time great contest.”
This time, the Jackets (5-2 overall, 1-0 in the region) hosed down the Wildcats (2-5, 0-1) as their homecoming guest.
“We were very well prepared,” in the words of senior Parker Collins, the Jackets’ right tackle.
Homecoming is this week, and the Jackets are to play host to White Knoll (6-1, 1-0). The Timberwolves are coming off a 28-27 Friday double-overtime Friday win at Aiken, with the victors’ highlights including Quin Jones’ rushing, with 30 carries, 199 yards and two touchdowns in the mix.
At quarterback against Lexington was Trib Reece, who completed 9 of 11 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to an 81-yard strike to Dre Dunbar, Reece also connected with Devin Grimes on a 45-yard touchdown for the first score of the game, giving North Augusta a lead it never relinquished.
“I really enjoyed staying in the pocket, but all the credit goes to the line and the receivers who caught the ball,” Reece said. “It was a big win coming up here on homecoming and getting a blowout like we did.”
Jacket tailback DeVonte Pressley finished the game with 89 yards, but 61 came in the first quarter when North Augusta came out running. That early impact forced the Wildcats to honor the run and created mismatches on the perimeter. One came in the first quarter when Grimes caught a short out from Reece, made a couple of moves and raced into the end zone untouched. Devin Grimes had a good night defensively, shutting down Lexington’s attempts at a vertical passing game and making an interception.
The Jackets’ defense was on target in critical situations. Twice in the first quarter, Lexington drove into the red zone to be faced with fourth down scenarios. Both times, including fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line, North Augusta made the stop and swung momentum in its favor by giving the ball back to the offense.
“This is big for us,” said Pippin. “This is our 40th win in four years, and we’re only seven games into this season. That says a lot about the kids.
“The defense stepped up, and the kids executed well,” Pippin said before shifting his thoughts to next week’s game against White Knoll. “It’s one win. It’s very good to get to go home.”
Collins, when asked about the outlook for region action, said, “I think the biggest challenge is trying not to overlook anybody, and focusing on each opponent.”
Aiken Standard Sports Editor Noah Feit contributed to this article.