Nick, Richardson lead South Carolina to Border Bowl victory

Minutes after leading his team downfield in determined fashion, Tyrece Nick clutched the paddle he helped bring back to South Carolina.

 

“We had to get it back across the river on the South Carolina side,” Nick said with a smile.

Nick and Tancey Richardson combined to help lead Team South Carolina to a dramatic 22-20 win over Team Georgia in Border Bowl IV on Saturday at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium.

South Carolina evened up the Border Bowl series at two wins apiece and won for the first time since 2015. Both of its wins have come in thrilling fashion after stopping Georgia near the goal line as time expired two years ago.

With the clock starting to become a factor and trailing 20-16, South Carolina coach Antwaun Hillary handed the reins to his Rebel quarterback, Nick, who teamed with South Aiken’s Richardson four times and went 6 for 7 on the drive.

Nick added 26 rushing yards to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Bamberg-Ehrhardt’s Jamari Dunbar for a 22-20 lead with 2:28 left.

“Tyrece Nick came back out and Tancey and the offensive line just took charge, and we were able to go back down the field and get a score,” said Hillary, who coached Nick at Strom Thurmond. “Just a big-time drive for us, and then the defense made a couple key stops.”

After taking the two-point lead, South Carolina made two stops to seal the victory.

Aiken’s Kendrick Sanders singlehandedly made the first by intercepting a pass. Georgia drove downfield in the final minute to set up a 24-yard field goal attempt by Richmond Academy’s David Ardrey with seconds on the clock, but the snap was muffed to end the game.

The tough finish for Georgia capped a back-and-forth second half that saw four lead changes.

Nick went 12 for 15 for 186 yards while adding 51 rushing yards. Richardson totaled 124 receiving yards on nine receptions and surpassed 200 all-purpose yards to earn Border Bowl IV Offensive Player of the Game.

Sanders was named Defensive Player of the Game for his clutch interception. Dunbar contributed three touchdowns on the ground.

Greenbrier’s Caleb Clark went 8 for 14 for 94 yards for Georgia, while Evans’ Levin Lackey went 6 for 7 for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Grovetown’s Justin Gibbs starred for Georgia by totaling 112 receiving yards on nine catches. Evans’ Latravius Holiday rushed 16 times for 60 yards and a score.

The first half was a defensive struggle with 16 total points scored.

Lackey found Gibbs on a 25-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring with 46 seconds left in the first quarter. Dunbar answered on a 5-yard touchdown run to trail 7-6.

The only scoring of the second was a 20-yard field goal by Barnwell’s Nathaniel Toole just before the half, giving South Carolina a 9-7 halftime lead.

“It was a tough game, but that’s a great game for the Border Bowl,” said Georgia coach James Leonard, head coach at Aquinas. “That’s the kind of game people want to come to watch. I’m very happy to be a part of this, very honored to be the coach of Team Georgia. I had a great time working with the coaching staff and had an awesome group of kids. The guys fought hard. You can’t blame them.”

Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or david.lee@augustachronicle.com.

 

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