SOUTH AIKEN 17, WHITE KNOLL 13
South Aiken seized momentum with an onside kick and a stellar stunt by the defensive front on a key fourth down propelled the home team to a 17-13 victory over White Knoll Friday evening in front of a raucous crowd despite the constant rain.
“It was a big win for us. Our team was resilient in the second half,” Thoroughbreds head coach Jeremy West said of his team, which squandered a lead in the second half of last year’s loss to the Timberwolves. “We fought back after trailing to a team that ended our season last year.”
The T-Breds took the opening kick and methodically moved down the field on a 12-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run through two would-be tacklers. The ensuing extra point made it 7-0.
South Aiken head coach Jeremy West’s team had some tricks up its sleeve on the ensuing kick-off. West called an on-sides kick, which the team recovered.
“We wanted to keep momentum on our side,” West said. “We’ve called it a couple of times this year and it has worked each time. They executed it perfectly.”
South Aiken’s Bo Baldwin completed a 34-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. Just three plays later, Owen Myers drilled a 30-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead just 7:09 into the game.
White Knoll quickly closed the gap. After getting the ball at the 33-yard line, E’Mond Brown rushed 65 yards up the left side, taking it to the two. On the next play, Craig Blakey made it 10-6 on a keeper.
The Timberwolves received the opening kick of the second half and promptly raced down the field with their no-huddle offense for a 19-yard touchdown run by Brown. The extra point made it 13-10 with 10:04 to play in the quarter.
South Aiken answered the drive with a nine-play 55-yard drive after Jordan Scott returned the kick 25 yards to the 45. With great field position, Baldwin hit Will Holbrook for an 18-yard gain. West’s team mixed the run and the pass on the drive and Baldwin eventually found Matt Albertson in the corner of the end-zone for a 16-13 advantage. The extra point pushed the margin to four.
White Knoll had great field position late in the game, but West’s defense stepped up. On third-and-3, Holbrook came up huge, making it fourth-and-4. Using a stunt on the defensive line, Casey Sanders was able to get to the quarterback, breaking up the shovel pass.
“We needed the stop. They were a physical team and they outweighed us,” West said. “The call was one they had not seen this year. We had waited to call it and did at the right time.”
With 2:06 to play, the Timberwolves go the ball back, but back-to-back incompletions forced a third-and-10. Rasool Clemons broke through the line on the play and forced another incomplete pass before Jeffrey McReynolds breaking up the desperation fourth-and-10 play.
WK 6 0 6 0 – 13
SA 10 0 7 0 – 17
SA–Adam Allen 7 run 7:18.
SA–Owen Myers 30-yard field goal 4:51.
WK–Craig Blakey (2-yard run) 4:41.
WK–E’Mond Brown 19 run 10:04.
SA–Bo Baldwin 10 pass to Matt Albertson 4:55.
SA–Adam Allen 15-76 1TD, Bo Baldwin 9-7, Damian Brown 12-44.
WK–E’Mond Brown 22-239 1TD, Craig Blakey 9-27 1TD, Gary Shell 2-5, Liam Smith 1-(-1).
SA–Baldwin 7-13-90 1TD.
WK–Craig Blakey 3-12-8.