NORTH AUGUSTA — Williston-Elko took advantage of the opportunity to showcase its talent in front of a large crowd Friday night.
The Blue Devils are a consistent state contender in South Carolina’s Class A ranks. This season should be no different with a stable of physical athletes, and it showed against a high-powered South Aiken team at the Aiken County Scrimmage at North Augusta High School.
“We have such a good group of seniors,” Williston-Elko coach Derek Youngblood said. “They just love to compete. They show up every day to compete in practice.”
Demarkiis Doe scooped up a Williston-Elko fumble and took it 28 yards for a touchdown midway through its 20-minute quarter with the Thoroughbreds. A two-point conversion was the difference as the Blue Devils won 8-7.
“I’m just really proud of my guys,” Youngblood said. “I told them before we got out here to go on the field tonight that I just wanted to compete. We’ve got what we’ve got. We thought we could go out and do some things.”
Williston-Elko went 9-3 last season en route to a Class A quarterfinals appearance. With a talented senior class that includes Doe, Tyran Parker and Jasper Lott along with junior Keshawn Toney, this year’s expectations are even greater.
Its opponent also entered the scrimmage with the weight of high expectations for this year. South Aiken went 12-2 and reached the Class AAAA semifinals last season, and the Thoroughbreds return much of their talent.
Senior quarterback Cody Boynton found senior receiver Deshun Kitchings on one of the quarter’s first plays for a 70-yard touchdown strike, a common sight during last year’s memorable run.
“Overall, we’ve got to take it for what it is,” South Aiken coach Chris Hamilton said. “It’s a jamboree. My kids have to realize they’re going to get everybody’s best shot every time they step on the field.”
In the first quarter, Midland Valley outlasted a tough Ridge Spring-Monetta team 14-6. The big play came from the talented Raekwon Jackson, who picked up a fumble and returned it 70 yards for a Mustang touchdown.
Aiken topped Wagener-Salley 7-0 in the third quarter, while North Augusta beat Silver Bluff 7-0 in the last.
The Yellow Jackets showed off the dynamic trio of quarterback Landon Washington, running back Derius Gibson and receiver DeJuan Bell on a quick opening drive that resulted in a short Gibson touchdown run.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.