AIKEN — With a cut back toward the open field, Deshun Kitchings sprung free and set a rivalry rout in motion.
The fifth-ranked Thoroughbreds turned to the usual formula of quick strikes on offense and a stifling defense to run past Aiken 51-10 Friday night.
A packed crowd and intense atmosphere in the Stomping Grounds grew even louder when Kitchings returned the opening kickoff of the game more than 90 yards for a touchdown. A 20-point second quarter, sparked by a constant connection between Cody Boynton and Chris Roberts, allowed South Aiken to cruise.
South Aiken (5-1, 1-0 Region 4-AAAA) notched its second win in a row over its crosstown rival. The Thoroughbreds previously went 20 years without two consecutive victories in the series until 2012-13 and they’ve repeated it between 2016-17.
Boynton went 16 for 18 for 242 yards and five touchdowns. Roberts carried the ball 15 times for 129 yards and a score while adding two touchdown receptions.
The high-flying Thoroughbreds entered the game averaging a 41-5 score in their four prior victories. Friday night’s win proved to be one of the largest margins of victory against Aiken (0-6, 0-1).
After Kitchings’ opening kickoff return, South Aiken’s Garrett Paschal picked off an Aiken pass midway through the first and turned it into a 12-0 lead when Roberts scored from five yards out.
Boynton hit Roberts on a 37-yard screen pass for a touchdown early in the second, followed by a 42-yard touchdown pass from Boynton to Kitchings for a 25-0 lead.
Aiken got on the board late in the second thanks to long passes from Kory Wallace and he hit Deondre Bynum on a 3-yard play for a 25-7 deficit.
Boynton tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Roberts just before the half for a 32-7 lead at the break.
South Aiken took the foot off the gas in the second half, but still put up 19 points, starting with a Boynton 33-yard strike to Jesse Sanders. Dra Patterson added a score on a short shovel pass from Boynton and Nyquel Ryans capped the scoring on a 15-yard run midway through the fourth.
Aiken managed a 29-yard field goal from Austin McKay late in the third quarter for its final score of the night.
Play of the game: South Aiken’s Deshun Kitchings kicked off the game in style by returning the opening kickoff more than 90 yards for a touchdown.