Sure, Jefferson County returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Evans coach Marty Jackson was thrilled with his special teams.
In the 24-20 win against the Warriors, the Knights recovered two fumbles on kickoffs, blocked an extra point, averaged about 30 yards on punt returns and didn’t allow any punt return yards as Jacob Rizner averaged nearly 40 yards per punt.
The special teams gave Evans its first win against Jefferson County after it lost in two previous tries.
“We’re making progress,” Jackson said. “We made more progress this week. It means a lot to get our confidence up.”
A NEW LOOK: An already balanced offense revealed yet another dimension Friday when Strom Thurmond lined up in a Wildcat formation for a second-half series during a lopsided win at Silver Bluff.
Starting tailback Darius Hammond took a direct snap out of the shotgun and found immediate success in the new look.
He gained 52 yards in three plays, capped by one of his three rushing touchdowns.
“Darius did a good job in that,” coach Lee Sawyer said. “The execution was good.”
The extra dimension wasn’t necessary on a night when the Rebel defense didn’t allow a score until the game’s final two minutes. Still, Sawyer said his offense needed the live-game practice in their final game before heading into region play.
“We’ve been working on it for several weeks now to use it down the road,” he said. “We worked on it a good bit this week and decided to break it out.”
KEEPING IT LOCAL: When Aquinas played host to Josey on Friday, the Irish played their first Richmond County team since 2009. That’s something coach Matt LeZotte wants to change.
Next season, Aquinas will play Josey on the road. Then, he said, he wants to schedule other non-region games against Augusta opponents.
“With the cost of transportation these days, we need to try to stay as local as possible,” LeZotte said. “The biggest thing is to stay local.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to showcase the type of football we’re playing here at Aquinas.”
Staff writers Billy Byler and Chris Gay contributed to this story.