Aiken Hornets rally past South Aiken T-BredsAIKEN 14, SOUTH AIKEN 10

At the start of Aiken High School’s rivalry football game against South Aiken, it was clear lots of things weren’t working for the Hornets.


The scoreboard was malfunctioning, forcing the officials to keep the time on the field for Friday’s game at Hagood Stadium. Beyond that, the Hornets’ offense was struggling, going three-and-out on its first three possessions and not recording a first down until the final play of the first half.


Those drives were positive compared to Aiken’s other first-half possession. Trailing by three points, the Hornets had first-and-10 from the Thoroughbreds’ 11-yard line following a great punt return. But the red zone drive imploded as soon as the ball was snapped.


From the pistol formation, quarterback Bryson Jones mishandled the snap, and never recovered it as South Aiken linebacker Rasool Clemons pounced on the loose ball. It was the first of two of Jones’ fumbles recovered by Clemons – who recently committed to Virginia and also recorded two sacks.


But Jones was able to ultimately recover. In spite of all of Aiken’s failings through the first three quarters and any missed opportunities, it rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 14-10 win over South Aiken.


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Wagener-Salley War Eagles open season with winWAGENER-SALLEY 27, BETHUNE-BOWMAN 24

WAGENER — It was finally Wagener-Salley High School’s turn to kick off the 2014 football season Friday night, and the War Eagles got off to a quick start. They jumped out to a 27-6 lead in the first half of their game against Bethune-Bowman.


However, the visiting Mohawks came on strong in the second half. They cashed in on sloppy plays by the home team to make a game of it late.


When it was all over, the War Eagles (1-0) were able to hold on for the 27-24 win despite three late turnovers. The game was nothing like the last time the two met when Wagener-Salley trounced the Mohawks 52-6 in 2013.


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Defense propels North Augusta to win late over Midland Valley


NORTH AUGUSTA 44, MIDLAND VALLEY 21

NORTH AUGUSTA — It was a heated battle in Friday night’s rivalry matchup between Midland Valley and North Augusta. The Yellow Jackets used some stifling second-half defense to hold the Mustangs scoreless in the final two quarters of the game and prevail with a 44-21 victory.


First-year head coach Brian Thomas said he challenged his team at halftime to step their game up after finishing the half in a 21-17 hole.


“The coaches made some great adjustments,” Thomas said. “They did a great job at halftime.”


The biggest adjustment was containing Midland Valley quarterback Daniel Carr. The junior signal caller made several big plays for the Mustangs in the first half to help them jump out front. But he was bottled up by the Yellow Jackets’ defense in the second half.


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Williston-Elko Blue Devils earn year’s first win, beat Silver BluffWILLISTON-ELKO 7

PETTICOAT JUNCTION — For the second week in a row, Williston-Elko went into a tough road environment and played to a 7-6 score.


This time, the Blue Devils (1-1) were victorious, picking up the one-point victory over Silver Bluff (0-2) a week after losing to Bamberg-Ehrhardt.


“Our guys deserved it,” said first-year head coach Derek Youngblood after his first victory at the helm of his alma mater. “This win has nothing to do with me.”


All of the scoring came in the third quarter, and the Bulldogs actually drew first blood. After outgaining Williston-Elko 128-49 in the scoreless first half, mostly on the ground, the Bulldogs broke through on a 29-yard run by Malik Washington just more than two minutes into the second half.


The score was Silver Bluff’s first of the season after a 21-0 loss to Abbeville in Week Zero.


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Ridge Spring-Monetta Trojans out-matched against Saluda TigersSALUDA 47, RS-M 20

SALUDA — In its first contest of the season, the Saluda football team came away with an impressive win and lost one of its key players for the season.


The Tigers (1-0) took control against Ridge Spring-Monetta (0-1) in the second half, outscoring the Trojans 26-13 in the final two quarters.


“Ridge Spring and coach Corley have a really good program,” Stewart Young, Saluda’s head coach, said. “I admire the heck out of what he’s doing out there. I tell him that every time I see him. I’ve been here 10 years and Ridge Spring just keeps getting scarier and scarier. This was not a pushover by any stretch of the imagination.”


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