Augusta Christian advances to SCISA championship game

Augusta Christian 39, Orangeburg Prep 26

Orangeburg Prep’s defensive efforts in the first half of Fri­day’s game led Augusta Chris­tian to change its tactics.


With the game tied at 12, the Lions opened the second half by going 90 yards in 16 plays, with quarterback Tyler Roberson finding the end zone on fourth-and-goal. They would score three more rushing touchdowns in the half and go on to a 39-26 win in the second round of the South Carolina Independent School Association Class AAA playoffs.

The Lions (12-0) advanced to the conference’s championship game, a goal they set at the beginning of the year.

“I’m happy for the seniors for them to reach that goal,” fourth-year head coach Keith Walton said. “They’ve been here twice and lost in this round, so that was huge.”

Augusta Christian will play Ham­mond next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Lions had just 94 yards rushing and three first downs in the first half Friday as the Indians gave them different looks on defense. Adjusting blocking schemes, the Lions came out with a smash-mouth attitude and finished with 341 total rushing yards, led by fullback Sean Sweetings’ 134 yards on 11 carries.

“We came back in at half and said we’re going to get back to the old grind and run it down their throat and had an eight-minute drive right off the bat,” Sweeting said.

Thomas Banks scored on the Lions’ second possession of the half to put them up 26-12, but as they had done all night, the Indians answered. A 54-yard scoring pass from Marion McCurry to Derek Andrews got them within a touchdown.

McCurry connected with Andrews eight times for 162 yards and three touchdowns, including two in 27 seconds at the end of the second quarter to erase the Lions’ 12-0 lead.

Despite McCurry’s numbers, Augusta Christian sacked him eight times.

Roberson rushed 16 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns and also found Nick Fortenberry for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Sweeting broke free on a 34-yard touchdown with 1:49 to play, giving the Lions a 39-19 lead and all but sealing the win.


PLAY OF THE GAME: On fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Tyler Roberson tried to bootleg, had to reverse field and eluded a defender to score, capping a 16-play drive to open the third quarter and setting the tone the rest of the way.

STAR OF THE GAME: Roberson took charge in the second half, scoring two of his three rushing touchdowns and finishing with 130 yards rushing.

WHY AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN WON: The Lions controlled the clock and the line of scrimmage in the second half.

WHY ORANGEBURG PREP LOST: The Indians couldn’t stop the Lions’ ground game in the second half.

NEXT: Augusta Christian vs. Hammond, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium (Columbia)

Augusta Christian 39, Orangeburg Prep 26

Orangeburg Prep 0 12 0 14 – 26

Augusta Christian 0 12 7 20 – 39

Second Quarter

AC–Nick Fortenberry 28 pass from Tyler Roberson (Heath Brace conversion fail), 8:36

AC–Roberson 50 run (conversion fail), 6:38

OP–Derek Andrews 12 pass from Marion McCurry (kick fail), 2:30

OP–Andrews 29 pass from McMurry (kick blocked), 2:13

Third Quarter

AC–Roberson 4 run (Heath Brace kick), 3:48

Fourth Quarter

AC–Thomas Banks 5 run (Brace kick), 11:25

OP–Andrews 54 pass from McCurry (Hunter Pickens kick), 9:34

AC–Roberson 14 run (Brace kick), 5:43

AC–Sean Sweeting 34 run (kick fail), 1:49

OP–Reed Grubbs 33 pass from McCurry (Pickens kick), :26

First Downs1518
Passing Yards21382


RUSHING–Orangeburg Prep: Michael Pascoe 19-60, Marion McCurry 11-(-33), Reed Grubbs 2-9. Augusta Christian: Thomas Banks 14-77, Sean Sweeting 11-134, Tyler Roberson 16-130.

PASSING–Orangeburg Prep: McCurry 12-19-1 213. Augusta Christian: Roberson 5-10-0 82

RECEIVING–Orangeburg Prep: Derek Andrews 8-162. Grubbs 2-44. Calder West 2-7. Augusta Christian: Nick Fortenberry 3-41, Banks. 1-6, Grant Newman 1-35.