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Yellow Jackets defeat T-Breds in defensive battle

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NORTH AUGUSTA 21, SOUTH AIKEN 16

In a game where neither offense could get much going, North Augusta was able to come out on top after a late scoring drive.

DJ Curry had his second touchdown run of the night from 7 yards out to put his team up 21-10 with 1:35 left after the extra point by Grayson Bridgers.

South Aiken then drove down the field and Jonathan Burns caught a touchdown pass but the two-point conversion pass fell incomplete. The T-Breds tried an onside kick, but the Yellow Jackets recovered and ran the clock out.

The game was a defensive battle throughout. After forcing a three-and-out by South Aiken to start the game, North Augusta's offense drove to the South Aiken 19-yard line. However, DJ Curry fumbled and the T-Breds recovered the football.

After some more punts, North Augusta scored first with 8:23 left in the second quarter. Quarterback Austin Harrell ran a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line. Bridgers' extra point was good, and the Yellow Jackets took a 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing possessions, each team's kicker missed a 25-yard field goal. South Aiken got the ball at the North Augusta 15-yard line and drove all the way to their own 12-yard line thanks to two huge completions from E.J. Hickson to Burns and Jalen Raysor.

Ethan Youmans kicked a 22-yard field goal as time expired to cut North Augusta's lead to 7-3 at the half.

After South Aiken's defense forced a North Augusta punt to open the third quarter, their offense scored immediately with Hickson running for a 43-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the T-Breds took a 10-7 lead.

After a few more punts, North Augusta struck again. Jordan Wilburn caught a 46-yard pass before DJ Curry ran for a touchdown from 2 yards out. The Yellow Jackets retook the lead, 14-10.

On their next possession, the T-Breds thought they had a long touchdown pass but it was called back due to a holding penalty.

Both offenses struggled for several drives before North Augusta got the ball with 5:26 to go in the game. The Yellow Jackets put together a long drive before Curry got his second touchdown of the night.

After the game, South Aiken Head Coach Chris Hamilton reflected on a close loss.

"We've got to get better on offense," Hamilton said. "Our defense is playing their heart out. We've got to get better on the offensive line. We're young up front. We knew that. We've got to get better."

For North Augusta, Curry ended the night with 57 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and lost a fumble. Harrell completed 15 of 28 passes for 264 yards and rushed 18 times for 72 yards and one touchdown. Bridgers caught five passes for 100 yards.

For South Aiken, Hickson completed 13 of 22 passes for 206 yards and one touchdown while rushing 11 times for 50 yards and one touchdown. Burns caught seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. 

South Aiken will look to bounce back next week against Airport, while North Augusta will host Midland Valley.

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NA 0 7 7 7 — 21
SA 0 3 7 6 — 16
SCORING SUMMARY
Second Quarter
NA — Austin Harrell 1 run (Grayson Bridgers kick) 8:23
SA — Ethan Youmans 22 field goal 0:03
Third Quarter
SA — E.J. Hickson 43 run (Youmans kick) 10:34
NA — DJ Curry 2 run (Bridgers kick) 2:26
Fourth Quarter
NA — Curry 7 run (Bridgers kick) 1:35
SA — Hickson 5 pass to Jonathan Burns (Hickson pass no good) 0:12
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Rushing
NA — Austin Harrell 18-72-1, DJ Curry 16-57-2, Kortez Jones 4-17, Christian Jackson 2-6. Totals 40-152-3.
SA — E.J. Hickson 11-50-1, Gage O'Banion 3-20, Damion Anderson 3-3. Totals 17-73-1.
Passing
NA — Austin Harrell 15-28-264-0-0
SA — E.J. Hickson 14-22-206-1-0
Receiving
NA — Grayson Bridgers 5-100, Jordan Wilburn 5-86, DJ Curry 1-10, Kortez Jones 4-68. Totals 15-264.
SA — Jonathan Burns 7-121-1, Jalen Raysor 4-52, Trace Zotter 2-19, Zaden Davis 1-14. Totals 14-206-1.

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