Game Summary: The underdog got the first laugh and the last one Friday evening at North Augusta High School, as the home team scored first and wound up with an upset, 23-20, over Irmo High School, in the regular-season finale for two playoff-bound teams. The game's first score came by way of Stephen Stuberfield, who put North Augusta on the scoreboard with 9:24 left in the second quarter, and linebacker L.J. Perry added six more points two minutes later, scooping up a fumble and toting it 60 yards to give the home team a 9-0 edge. Irmo, however, charged back and wound up with a 13-9 halftime lead. North Augusta came on strong in the second half, starting by successfully recovering its own onside kick, and late in the fourth quarter, looked to be on its way to a win by a comfortable spread, but Grayson Hutson, an Irmo defensive back, put suspense back into the game by stripping the ball from North Augusta running back Tidy Johnson, with 1:57 left in the game. Hutson ran five yards to score on the play, and the extra point cut the spread to 23-20, setting the stage for the final fireworks. Irmo would get the ball again but North Augusta's defense was up to the job, nailing down a "W" for the home team, which dominated ball possession in the second half, getting 35 offensive plays compared to 14 for Irmo. Key Performances: Irmo's Leander Barney was a huge factor, especially in the first half, when he and Brian Hill split quarterback duty, and Barney wound up the half with 54 yards and one touchdown rushing, 36 yards and another touchdown receiving and 58 yards passing. North Augusta's Tidy Johnson led his team's rushing attack, with 89 yards, while quarterback Travis Murphy added 146 aerial yards, including two touchdown tosses to wide receiver David Dixon. The game was over when: North Augusta's Quinton Harmon made the decisive tackle, chasing down Hill for a loss of two yards as Irmo faced 4th-and-17 on the Irmo 17, with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter. North Augusta got the ball and was able to run out the clock. What they are saying: "It's just a great win. It's like, how do we top the Strom Thurmond win, and then how do we top the South Aiken win? I don't know how we top this one now. This is pretty good. They (Irmo) are in the top four or five in the state. They're probably going to be one of the top one or two seeds in the Big 16, and we just beat them here, so that's a pretty big deal ... To have a winning record after last year is something we can all be proud of." -- Dan Pippin, North Augusta coach "We've been working hard all week, and we knew that if we came out and played our best game, it would come down to the fourth quarter, and it did, and we just pulled it out in the end." -- Andrew Felak, North Augusta punter, placekicker (for kickoffs) and defensive tackle "I am not leaving this field." -- Rob Freitas, North Augusta center (a few seconds after planting the North Augusta flag at midfield) What this means: North Augusta clinches a playoff berth in high style, rebounding from a 1-10 campaign in 2006 (its first year with Dan Pippin as coach) to a regular-season record of 6-5. Irmo, cruising into the game perched firmly atop Region 4-AAAA, still wins the region championship but now has a record of 9-2. One of North Augusta's assistant coaches noted that this was the first victory for North Augusta over Irmo since 1990. Irmo 0 13 0 7 -- 20 NA 0 9 0 14 -- 23 SCORING SUMMARY NA -- Stephen Stuberfield 20 field goal NA -- L.J. Perry 60 fumble return (kick failed) Irmo -- Leander Barney 18 run (Tanner Douglas kick). Irmo -- Brian Hill 36 pass to Barney (kick failed). NA -- Travis Murphy 40 pass to David Dixon (Stuberfield kick). NA -- Murphy 6 pass to David Dixon (Stuberfield kick). Irmo -- Grayson Hutson 5 fumble return (Douglas kick). INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING North Augusta --North Augusta -- Tidy Johnson 29-89, Marcus Thurmond 4-6, Travis Murphy 10-10, Darell Curry 1-3. Totals 44-108. Irmo -- Mustafa Greene 14-47, Leander Barney 10-62, Nathan Dorton 1-(-1), Brian Hill 1-(-7). Totals 26-101. PASSING North Augusta -- North Augusta -- Murphy 10-13-0 146. Irmo -- Barney 3-4-0 58, Hill 2-7-1 44. RECEIVING North Augusta -- Marcus Thurmond 6-73, David Dixon 3-53, Daitrele Dixon 1-5, Matt Hazel 1-16. Totals 11-149 Irmo -- Neal Strange 1-23, Dorton 1-8, Nate Stocker 1-15, Wyatt Lowery 1-20, Barney 1-36. Totals 5-102.