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North Augusta's season comes to an end

Goose Creek 49, North Augusta 6

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GOOSE CREEK, S.C. — The third time was indeed the charm for Goose Creek.

Virgil Smalls rushed for 120 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Goose Creek past North Augusta 49-6 Friday night before a standing room only crowd of more than 6,000 at John Fulmer Field.

The Gators (13-1) will take on Greenwood, a 36-21 winner over Ashley Ridge, next Saturday for the Class AAAA Division II state title at noon at Clemson’s Death Valley. The Yellow Jackets finished the season at 12-2.

This was the third straight year the Gators have advanced to the Division II-AAAA semifinals, only to fall in close games to eventual state champions Berkeley (2009) and Northwestern (2010).

The Gators never gave the Yellow Jackets a chance, scoring on seven straight possessions.

“We challenged the kids from the beginning of the season and they’ve responded each week,” said Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy. “We’ve come so close in the past two years that the kids set their goal on the state championship game and refused to let anything get in the way.”

The Gators’ option offense was a machine, rolling up 411 yards of total offense, including 339 rushing yards.

“If we didn’t make it all the way to the state championship game this year everyone would have been disappointed,” said Goose Creek quarterback Jaquan Marsh, who had 48 rushing yards and 72 passing yards.

While the 49 points and more than 400 yards of total offense will grab the headlines, it was the Gators’ defense, which caused four turnovers, that made the difference.

The Gators forced four turnovers, including two interceptions by linebacker Sean Jones. The Gators defense limited Vinny Miller to just 67 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Miller came into the game with more than 2,000 all-purpose yards.

“North Augusta is a very explosive team,” Reedy said. “They’d been able to score on everyone all season. Miller is a great back and we did a good job of containing him. We didn’t get a lot of sacks, but we got consistent pressure on their quarterback all night.”

After punting on their first two possessions of the night, the Gators responded with three straight scoring drives to end the first half. Smalls capped off two of the drives with TD runs of 1 and 3 yards. After a Jones interception, Caleb Kinlaw scored from six yards out to give the Gators a 21-0 lead at halftime.

“We didn’t want to let up at halftime,” Reedy said. “We didn’t want to give them any hope.”

The Gators put the game away with three more TDs in the third quarter. Tremel Terry’s 4-yard TD run put the game out of reach, 42-0, with 4:21 left in third quarter.

The game was delayed for more than 15 minutes when North Augusta defensive end Shane Lester was taken off the field in a stretcher after suffering a head injury. He was taken to a local hospital and released.

This will be Goose Creek’s first state appearance in the school’s history.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work,” Reedy said.

GOOSE CREEK 49, NORTH AUGUSTA 6

Class AAAA Division II Lower State Championship

North Augusta 0 0 0 6 – 6

Goose Creek 7 14 21 7 – 49

First quarter

GC–Virgil Smalls 3 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

Second quarter

GC–Virgil Smalls 1 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

GC–Caleb Kinlaw 6 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

Third quarter

GC–Vrigil Smalls 3 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

GC–Virgil Smalls 2 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

GC–Tramel terry 4 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

Fourth quarter

GC–Rico Blanding 12 run (Masa Ishibashi kick)

NA–Vinny Miller 2 run (kick failed)

Comments (4) Add comment
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etlinks
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etlinks 11/26/11 - 08:24 am
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Tuff loss but a great season,

Tuff loss but a great season, you can be proud NA.

j-campbell
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j-campbell 11/26/11 - 02:54 pm
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The writer misspoke regarding

The writer misspoke regarding Shane Lester's injury. He was not released after being taken to the hospital; he was retained overnight and thankfully, is expected to be released this evening.

Goose Creek is the best HS football team I have seen all year, and I expect them to handle Greenwood at Death Valley in the AAAA Div II State Championship game. After very early and impressive success by NA on defense, GC basically dominated the rest of the game. NA's four TOs helped them, of course, but unfortunately, GC was the stronger team last night. Regardless of the outcome of this game, NA has had a season to be proud of.

citizenna
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citizenna 11/27/11 - 12:08 am
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Shane is still in the

Shane is still in the hospital tonight and expected to be released in the morning. Congrats to the NA Yellow Jackets on a great season. We are so proud of you!

BIGTALK1
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BIGTALK1 11/28/11 - 12:44 pm
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This is Shane's mom. Shane is

This is Shane's mom. Shane is now home. He was released Sunday morning . The article in the Chronicle was taken directly from the Goose Creek paper. This article was wriiten immediately following game. Shane has some left leg weakness but he will be working on with physical therepy. Thanks to all for prayers and concern. A big Thank You to the Goose Creek Gator staff-coaches-fans for their concern also. Some visited Trident hospital during the course of our stay. Thanks to all staff-coaches-friends-fans of our "YELLOW JACKETS" also who also came to hospital before leaving to head back to NA after game.

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