SOUTH AIKEN 23, AIKEN 6
South Aiken's defense held on until the offense could get going, and the T-Breds won 23-6 for their second-straight Battle of Aiken victory over rival Aiken High School.
The T-Breds (3-8, 2-3 Region 5-AAAA) limited the Hornets (1-10, 0-5) to 188 total yards of offense and got a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown from senior linebacker and North-South All-Star Game selection Will Holbrook.
North Augusta Jackets rally for region crown
NORTH AUGUSTA 33, DUTCH FORK, 24
NORTH AUGUSTA — After the first play of the game, it didn't look like it was going to be North Augusta's night. North Augusta's Willie McCloud fumbled the opening kickoff and it was recovered by Dutch Fork deep in Yellow Jacket territory in the de facto Region 5-AAAA title game between the high school football powers.
The mistake led to a quick score and set the stage for a good first half for the Silver Foxes, who looked like they would win back-to-back region crowns by defeating the Jackets in the regular-season finale in consecutive seasons. But an inspired defensive performance led to a second-half renaissance as North Augusta rallied for a 33-24 win that made it the Region 5-AAAA champion and will let it return to the Jackets Nest next week for the start of the playoffs.
Ridge Spring-Monetta Trojans avenge loss and advance
RS-M 34, WAGENER-SALLEY 13
WAGENER — Eight days before Friday night's Class-A playoff opener against Wagener-Salley, emotional Ridge Spring-Monetta players found themselves a few big plays short of a victory. In the rematch in Wagener on Friday, the Trojans made all the big plays early and often en route to a 34-13 victory.
The game started with the Ridge Spring-Monetta tackling Wagener-Salley quarterback Malcolm Stroman for a huge loss, and the Trojans never let up on the physicality from that point. Head coach Heath Corley said his team really answered the challenge, after they got “physically whipped” in the first meeting. Corley's squad had taken a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Williston-Elko Blue Devils run over C.A. Johnson
WILLISTON-ELKO 58, C.A. JOHNSON 6
WILLISTON — The Williston-Elko Blue Devils used a powerful rushing attack to overwhelm visiting C.A. Johnson in Friday's Class A, Division I Upper State playoff opener. Williston-Elko took an early lead and never looked back, posting a dominant 58-6 victory.
“We talk so much about starting off good. We haven't started well in the last three or four games,” said Williston-Elko head coach Dwayne Garrick, whose Blue Devils jumped out to a 38-6 lead in the first half Friday. “We just wanted to come out and be physical again. The times we hadn't scored, or been bogged down, it's usually been our own fault. I'm glad our kids took care of business.”
Strom Thurmond cruises over Darlington
STROM THURMOND 35, DARLINGTON 6
JOHNSTON — The second quarter was party time for Strom Thurmond High School's football fans Friday evening, as the Rebels racked up 28 points en route to a 35-6 romp over Darlington in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.
The Rebels (10-1), playing at home, got their big data by way of the ground game, as Jauveer Hammond ran for 97 yards (in addition to passing for 67) and Chad Gilchrist ran for 96, helping set the stage for the Rebels' next challenge: a second-round contest at home against North Myrtle Beach, which beat Orangeburg-Wilkinson to the tune of 52-35 to advance. The Falcons ended their season at 6-5.
For a look at other games from around the area, click here.
More photos: South Aiken vs. Aiken and N.A. vs. Dutch Fork
Staff photo by Mike Adams North Augusta Head Coach Dan Pippen gets a hug from his wife after a victory over Dutch Fork.×
Staff photo by Mike Adams The North Augusta student section was in rare form Friday night they ride the pretend rollercoaster during their game against Dutch Fork.×
North Augusta Head Coach Dan Pippen, left, and Bob Bolton celebrate after a victory over Dutch Fork.×
Photo by Artie Walker South Aiken defeats Aiken 23 - 6.×
Photo by Artie Walker South Aiken’s student body storms the field to celebrate the victory.×
Staff Photo by Eric Russell The Ridge Spring-Monetta cheerleaders perform during half time of the first round playoff game.×