NORTH AUGUSTA 42, SUMTER 14
SUMTER — For the better part of a 1½ quarters, the Sumter High School football team was holding its own against undefeated North Augusta on Friday.
Then things quickly got away from the Gamecocks.
With the game tied 7-7, the high-powered Yellow Jackets (5-0) reeled off 21 points over the final six minutes of the first half and went on to a 42-14 victory at Sumter Memorial Stadium.
“This was a really disappointing game for us,” said Gamecock (1-3) head coach Reggie Kennedy. “We thought we’d turned a corner with our offense last week (in a 45-0 victory over Lakewood), but we took a step back tonight.
“Our defense didn’t play bad tonight, but they were on the field too much. We did a good job, but North Augusta struck quick.”
A 24-yard punt return by Willie McCloud set North Augusta up at the Sumter 49. The Jackets, who had outscored their opponents 189-22 coming into the game, went 10 plays for the touchdown. Quarterback Trib Reece threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dre Dunbar with 6:29 remaining in the second quarter. Blake Busby’s extra point made it 14-7.
North Augusta defensive back Mike Chavous then intercepted a pass from Sumter quarterback James Barnes and returned it 26 yards to the Sumter 11. McCloud, who rushed 108 yards on 22 carries, went in from 3 yards out to make it 21-7 with 5:07 left.
After a Gamecock drive stalled, North Augusta took over with 1:41 left in the half. It chose to try and stick the ball in the end zone again and was successful. Reece connected with wide receiver Jaleel Bryant for a 47-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left to make the halftime score 21-7.
Reece completed 13 of 19 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He had a 96-yard scoring run on a quarterback draw in the fourth.
Neither team could do much offensively in the second half until midway through the fourth quarter.
Sumter’s only score in the second half came on a 90-yard kickoff return by Ky’Jon Tyler immediately following Reece’s long run.
The Gamecocks had just 198 yards of total offense, only 55 coming on the ground. Barnes was 15-for-36 for 143 yards and two interceptions.
The Yellow Jackets got their first score when Reece hooked up with Dunbar for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter.
Sumter tied the game on a wild 54-yard touchdown pass from Barnes to Tyler. Tyler was matched up against North Augusta cornerback Mannie Ogletree when Barnes went up top to him. The ball was thrown just short, allowing Ogletree to bat the ball into the air. He fell down, but Tyler tipped the ball again before controlling it and going in for the score to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:09 to go in the first quarter.
NA 7 21 0 14 – 42
SUMTER 7 0 0 7 14
NA–Dre Dunbar 30 pass from Trib Reece (Blake Busby, kick) 4:44.
S–Ky’Jon Tyler 54 pass from James Barnes (Vincent Watkins, kick) 1:09
NA–Dunbar 7 pass from Reece (Busby, kick) 6:29.
NA–Willie McCloud 3 run (Busby, kick) 5:07
NA–Jaleel Bryant 47 pass from Reece (Busby, kick) 0:22.
NA–Reece 96 run (Busby, kick) 7:27.
S–Tyler 90 kickoff return (Watkins, kick) 7:15.
NA–Reece 3 run (Busby, kick) 4:01