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Aiken holds on against South Aiken

AIKEN 21, SOUTH AIKEN 19

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PLAY OF THE GAME: South Aiken tried to take the game into overtime with a two-point conversion attempt with 5.4 seconds left. However, Aiken coach Carey Johnson called a timeout after the teams initially lined up in order to adjust the defense, which proved to be the right decision as the Hornets’ defense ran through South Aiken’s offensive line and gang-tackled Kendell Williams in the backfield for a 3-yard loss.

Aiken's Royal Purnell, right, tries to get around South Aiken's Casio Bailey during the first quarter.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Aiken's Royal Purnell, right, tries to get around South Aiken's Casio Bailey during the first quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Aiken senior Aaron Griffin ended his career against the Thoroughbreds by leading the Hornets (4-7) in total yardage for the night. He finished with 86 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.

WHY AIKEN WON: The Hornets’ defense won the game for them and carried the offense, which had trouble finding the end zone. Not only did Aiken’s defense stop the South Aiken two-point conversion, but it also kept the Thoroughbreds from producing any points on three first-half drives that got them inside the Hornet 30-yard line.

WHY SOUTH AIKEN LOST: The Thoroughbreds (2-9) were inconsistent on both sides of the ball. The inability to capitalize on long drives and a missed extra point proved to be South Aiken’s downfall.

QUOTABLE: Aiken coach Carey Johnson said he was “happy to see his seniors get a win and that the offense was able to put enough together to make it happen. Our defense also made the right adjustments when we needed in order to come up with some big stops. I’m proud of the way the kids played.”

South Aiken coach Jeremy West said, “We challenged our kids all week to leave it all out on the field tonight, and that is just what they did. We had a chance to win but just couldn’t pull it off. I’m very proud of our seniors and what they have done for us this year.”


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