Goose Creek quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu

Goose Creek quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu (3) picks up yards on the ground in the second quarter against Ashley Ridge while being pursued by the Foxes' Anthony Jackson. Rob Gnatt/The Gazette. 

Goose Creek - Ashley Ridge quarterback Matt Duncan’s fourth quarter touchdown and two-point conversion proved to be the difference as the Foxes defeated Goose Creek, 21-20, Friday night at John Fulmer Field in the season opener for both teams.

It was the third straight win for Ashley Ridge (1-0) over Goose Creek (0-1) in the series between the two rivals.

“It’s always great to start out with a win,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “We did that last year then things didn’t really go the way we planned. We found a way to lose that game last year. This year, we found a way to win it.

The Foxes overcame a 14-7 halftime deficit to hand the Gators their fourth straight season-opening loss.

“I just saw a team that’s not in as good a shape as I thought we were,” Goose Creek coach Jason Winstead said. “We started losing guys. The guys we put in there played hard but we made too many mistakes and they came out on top.”

Duncan tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass with 10:23 left to put the Foxes on top and ran in the 2-point try to make it 21-14. Goose Creek muffed a punt at its own 30 to set up the score.

The Gators responded with a 25-yard touchdown from backup quarterback DJ Matthews to Damon Mouzon less than two minutes later but the extra-point try sailed wide.

Goose Creek had one last gasp, driving inside Ashley Ridge’s 40 in the final minute before a fourth-down reception was just out of bounds inside the 20.

Ashley Ridge’s first touchdown pass was on a hook-and-lateral. Duncan hit Sammons for 15 yards and he pitched it to Cordell Gaston, who went 31 yards to tie it 7-7 on the last play of the first quarter.

Emmanuel Mukuamu had two touchdown passes for Goose Creek, one to Damon Mouzon for 6 yards and the other a 22-yarder to Matthews.

The Gators are off Friday and travel to Summerville on Sept. 6. The Foxes host Berkeley on Friday.

Reach Andrew Miller at 843-937-5599. Follow him on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC

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