The schedule remains unforgiving, but Jefferson County had an impressive start.
The Warriors traveled to Fitzgerald, Ga., on Friday night to begin the season and picked up a 28-14 win.
A year ago, Jefferson County lost by 17 points to Fitzgerald, a team that advanced to the Class AA state quarterfinals.
This year’s win marked the Warriors’ first 1-0 start since 2009. To get to 2-0, Class AAA Jefferson County must defeat Class AAAA Baldwin this Friday.
“It says we can compete, hopefully at a high level,” Warriors coach J.B. Arnold said about the season opener. “That was a big win for us.”
A NEW BEGINNING: Aquinas fans packed the home bleachers to catch this year’s version of the Irish shining under the new lights. Aquinas scored 45 points in the first half of its 52-14 win over East Laurens, with six different players running the ball and seven different players hauling in at least one reception.
Aquinas will have two weeks to prepare for its next opponent. The Irish play host to George Walton, Sept. 6. Last season, Aquinas defeated the Bulldogs in the regular season before falling to them 38-12 in the first round of the Class A private state playoffs.
“We’re going to be hungry,” Leonard said. “We just have to get back to the fundamentals in the off week. We need to make sure everybody’s healthy.”
HEALTHY DEBUT: South Aiken quarterback Bo Baldwin left Friday night’s victory against Richland Northeast early.
But this time it wasn’t because of injury. The Thoroughbreds had the game well in hand, and South Aiken coach Jeremy West turned over the offense to sophomore Bowen Smith.
As a sophomore, Baldwin broke his collarbone. In 2012, in the season opener at Richland Northeast, he broke his throwing hand.
GETTING CLOSE: Overshadowed by Strom Thurmond’s spread rushing attack, Silver Bluff put together solid drives but were unable to push across many points, especially early in Friday’s game, which Strom Thurmond won 31-15.
Bulldogs running back Shaquez Wright recorded 102 rushing yards on 17 carries.