GEORGIA 24, SOUTH CAROLINA 10
AUGUSTA — Turnovers cost the South Carolina team in the first Border Bowl, as the Georgia squad picked up the 24-10 victory.
Despite that, North Augusta head coach Dan Pippin – also head coach for the South Carolina side – was upbeat about the game.
“It was a lot of fun, though” he said. “It was good getting to see kids that we play against and coach them.”
After Pippin's squad was forced to punt on its opening possession, he got to see one of those star players go to work. With the Georgia team knocking on the door after a long drive had them on the South Carolina 2-yard line, Strom Thurmond linebacker Kenyatta Dunbar – who later picked up the team's defensive player of the game honors – scooped up a bobbled handoff for a crucial fumble recovery.
The momentum didn't stay on the South Carolina side long, though, as a bobbled handoff to Adam Allen ended up in the hands of Georgia's Kendall White, a defensive lineman from Lakeside.
“I think the offense put the defense in bad spots all game, but it was a great experience,” Pippin said.
The offense did its job on the next possession, though, as South Aiken quarterback Bo Baldwin found Keyon West down the home sideline. West, who was the team's offensive player of the game, then took it the distance for a 69-yard touchdown to even the score at 7-all.
After the Georgia team took the lead again on a 23-yard scoring strike from Lakeside's Hunter Brooks to Aquinas' Chris Lambert, the turnover bug bit the South Carolina team again. This time in came in the form of an interception by Richmond Academy's Travis Beatty on a similar play to the one West scored on.
Georgia looked to be heading in for the score again, but the South Carolina defense stood tall on a fourth-and-goal from the 3 to get the ball back. Again, the momentum was cut short by a turnover on a pass thrown by Strom Thurmond's Jauveer Hammond and picked off by Evans' Jonquell Jones, but Allendale-Fairfax's Quendrell Williams got it right back with an interception in the end zone.
His decision to bring the ball out proved costly, though, as the South Carolina squad started the drive at the 2-yard line and didn't get far. The ensuing punt was returned by Jefferson County's TJ Clark to the South Carolina 18, and Banks hit Lambert on the next play for an 18-yard touchdown to go into halftime up 21-7.
Early in the third quarter, the South Carolina team looked poised to make a move, and again, the defense got things started. In addition to a monster hit by North Augusta linebacker Kyle Saverance to break up a screen pass to Glenn Hills' Earlmonquez Cobb, Silver Bluff's Jalen Douse cut a Georgia drive short with an interception on a downfield pass by Laney's Horatio Keller.
“We made history,” Douse said of coming up with a big play in the first Border Bowl. “We had to keep playing and try to put points on the board.”
The South Carolina offense did just that, as Baldwin used a 20-yard pass to T-Bred teammate Will Holbrook to help set up a 23-yard field goal by Silver Bluff's Nick Casares. That cut the lead to 21-10 with most of the third quarter remaining, but that was as close as the South Carolina team would get.
The defense came up with stops, but a fumble by Baldwin near midfield early in the fourth quarter cut one drive short, and the Georgia squad recovered a snap that went well over Hammond's head to set up a 21-yard field goal by Westside's Keaton Craw to bring the score to its final margin.
Lakeside head coach Jarrett Troxler, who was at the helm for the Georgia squad, was pleased with the effort of his team.
“It was awesome,” he said. “The kids had fun; they deserved it.”
Lambert and White were selected for Georgia offensive and defensive players of the game, respectively.
Even though his team didn't win, Pippin called the event “very cool.” He was also impressed enough by the likes of Barnwell's Charles Williams and Fox Creek's Deondre Baskett that he said he plans on doing what he can to help them play at the next level.
“I think it's huge for the area,” Pippin said. “I was shocked at how many people were here.”
Douse, who also plays basketball for the Bulldogs, struggled to find words appropriate for the experience of playing in front of so many area football fans and alongside his most talented senior peers. Adding a big play to the mix made it even more difficult to describe.
“Put it like this: It's a good feeling,” he said.
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University. Follow him on Twitter @ASJTimm.
SC 7 0 3 0 – 10
GA 14 7 0 3 – 24
GA–Kendall White fumble recovery in end zone (Keaton Craw kick) 7:56.
SC–Bo Baldwin 69 pass to Keyon West (Nick Casares kick) 6:36.
GA–Hunter Banks 23 pass to Chris Lambert (Craw kick) 4:16.
GA–Banks 18 pass to Lambert (Craw kick): 54.2.
SC–Casares 23 field goal 7:03.
GA–Craw 21 field goal 3:10.
SC–Shaquez Wright 16-73, Adam Allen 8-28, Jauveer Hammond 7-10, James Jacks 1-2, West 1-(-13), Baldwin 2-(-6). Totals 35-94.
GA–Mike McIntire 18-72, Stephon Jacobs 4-12, Banks 2-(-3), Horatio Keller 5-8, Car'Tabius Quarterman 5-18, Jalen Lampkin 1-2. Totals 35-109.
SC–Hammond 9-15-43-0TD-1INT, Baldwin 13-19-175-1TD-1INT. Totals 21-34-218-1TD-2INT.
GA–Banks 8-16-156-2TD-1INT, Keller 4-9-30-0TD-1INT, Lampkin 0-1-0-0TD-0INT. Totals 12-26-186-2TD-2INT.
SC–Trenton Baughman 2-8, West 9-89-1TD, Kendall Hill 6-67, Will Holbrook 1-20, Jaleel Bryant 2-7, Dre Dunbar 2-27.
GA–Earlmonquez Cobb 4-43, Quarterman 1-43, Felton Hatcher 1-12, Lambert 5-83-2TD, Jalen Turner 1-9.
SC–Quendrell Williams 1-2, Jalen Douse 1-0.
GA–Travis Beatty 1-0, Jonquell Jones 1-8.
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman South Carolina defenders celebrate a first quarter fumble recovery by Strom Thurmond's Kenyatta Dunbar (32) in the Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Strom Thurmond's Jauveer Hammond (10) looks to turn upfield against the defense of Burke County's Juwan Gardner during Sunday's Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Lakeside coach Jarrett Troxler, who was the head coach of the Georgia squad, talks with his team while holding the trophy paddle after Sunday's Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman The Georgia players hoist the trophy paddle after winning the first Border Bowl at Laney High School's football stadium.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Silver Bluff's Shaquez Wright (5) turns the corner against the defense of Jefferson County's TJ Clark (31) in Sunday's Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman North Augusta head coach Dan Pippin, the head coach for the South Carolina squad, talks to players during Sunday's Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman A host of South Carolina defenders wrap up Georgia's Horatio Keller of host Laney during the Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Strom Thurmond's Kendall Hill, center, fights for yardage in after a catch in Sunday's Border Bowl.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Georgia's Travis Beatty of Richmond Academy picks off a pass in the first quarter.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman South Carolina's Deondre Baskett (15) of Fox Creek and Luke Smith of North Augusta wrap up Glenn Hills' Earlmonquez Cobb.×