PETTICOAT JUNCTION — RJ Stallings’ first touch of the night produced no points for Silver Bluff.
But his second, third and fourth touches all resulted in touchdowns, and the Bulldogs (3-1) used their speed and athleticism to defeat South Aiken 36-20 on Friday night.
Stallings, a senior who sees action as a tailback and defensive back, had a career night in just the first six minutes of play. He started the scoring by taking a sweep to the left 51 yards for a score.
“It was all about the big block,” Stallings said of his first score. “Wingback blocked it good, and I took it home.”
Then, after a South Aiken fumble, Stallings was on the receiving end of a 23-yard touchdown pass from Jaylen Lawrence.
Not content to just show what he could do on offense, Stallings intercepted a tipped Bo Baldwin pass and returned it 45 yards to put his team ahead 18-0 with just over half of the first quarter left to play.
Stallings added a 9-yard run in the second quarter for his fourth touchdown of the night, and the Bulldogs led 24-7 at the break.
Silver Bluff coach Al Lown wasn’t surprised by Stallings’ performance.
“He’s a good receiver, a good blocker, a good runner, and a good defensive player,” Lown said. “All that came out tonight.”
South Aiken (1-3) showed some life in the second half by marching to a touchdown on its first possession, but Silver Bluff responded with a 4-yard touchdown run by Lawrence. The Bulldogs padded their lead when Lawrence hit Shaquez Wright on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. South Aiken responded with a Baldwin touchdown pass to Matt Albertson, but Silver Bluff ran out the clock.
“We go back to the drawing board tomorrow,” South Aiken coach Jeremy West said. “Silver Bluff’s a fine football team ... when we play teams of that caliber, we can’t help them out.”
Silver Bluff is now 3-1. The Bulldogs lost to Class AAA Strom Thurmond, but have wins over AAAA schools Aiken and South Aiken. Silver Bluff concludes its nonregion schedule next week against Class AAA Midland Valley.