Because his team got so close, South Aiken coach Jeremy West admits it hurts. But getting close is a sign.
The Thoroughbreds took a lead into the fourth quarter against defending Class AAAA Division II state champion Greenwood on Friday, before losing 17-10.
“We want to win, but it shows we’re closing the gap,” West said. “We’re able to compete with the upper-echelon teams in the state. It gives our kids confidence. It hurts, but it’s good to hurt – we knew we were in the game.”
Next up? South Aiken is home this Friday against Northwestern, the team Greenwood beat for the state title.
TOUGH TEAM: Before the season, Silver Bluff coach Al Lown said the first practice after his opening games at Strom Thurmond and Aiken could be crucial for the season.
After Friday’s 35-7 win at Aiken, Lown doesn’t have to worry about building team confidence.
“I say we’ve got a pretty tough team,” Lown said. “You see how tough we play. We’re a tough, tough football team. We played without two starters tonight and gutted it out.”
After reaching the Class AA Division II Lower State title game last year, Lown thinks this year’s edition could be special.
“I said earlier if this team stays healthy at the end of the year we’ll have a heck of a team,” he said.
PINBALL WIZARD: With its triple-option attack running for almost 300 yards, Westside kept the scoreboard busy against Cross Creek. The Patriots scored the second-most points in school history with their 55-7 win over the Razorbacks. Westside fell one point shy of tying the mark set in 1988 (a 56-0 win over Lakeside).
Westside scored on five of its first seven possessions in the first half. The Patriots averaged 6.9 yards a carry in the contest.
Now, Westside will turn its focus to Butler. Patriots coach Steve Hibbitts said he planned to look at the video to see what his team did right – and wrong.
“When you do win, it tends to cover up some things that you didn’t do well,” he said. “We’ve got to throw the ball better. That’s something we’re definitely going to look at.”
BRINGING THE ‘D’: North Augusta’s offense scored 43 points on Friday, giving the Yellow Jackets a total of 88 points in two games.
But the defense has been equally strong, allowing a combined nine points against T.L. Hanna and Midland Valley. North Augusta gave up its first touchdown of the season against the Mustangs, as Daniel Carr broke through for a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Bottling up Midland Valley’s Daniel and Dre Carr proved the North Augusta defense had come prepared.