The visiting team has won each of the five meetings, and the games are usually close: the biggest margin of victory since the teams began their rivalry was 13 points.
But Friday night at The Bluff, Silver Bluff defied both of those trends as it defeated Midland Valley 53-33.
Each team put up more than 500 yards on offense in an entertaining showcase of some of Aiken County’s top talent, but the Bulldogs (4-1) pulled away thanks to five unanswered touchdowns that spanned the second and third quarters.
“We felt we could run the ball on them, and it turned out we had some success doing that,” said Silver Bluff coach Al Lown, who watched his team rush for 494 yards.
Midland Valley (2-2) struck first when Trenton Baughman took a slant pass from Daniel Carr and raced 67 yards into the end zone.
Silver Bluff responded with RJ Stallings’ 16-yard run. The Mustangs responded with a 19-yard touchdown run by Dre’ Carr to take a 13-7 lead after the first quarter.
But the Bulldogs owned the second quarter with 20 unanswered points. Jaylen Lawrence, Shaquez Wright and Myles Corbitt all scored on short runs as the host team took a 27-13 lead at intermission.
Stallings broke the game open early in the third quarter with a 68-yard burst up the middle on the first play of the second half. Then, after Midland Valley was forced to punt, Stallings was on the receiving end of a 19-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence.
But Stallings, who scored four touchdowns a week ago against South Aiken, left the field by stretcher late in the third quarter.
“He’s going to the hospital for some evaluation,” Lown said of Stallings, who was suffering back pain. “We’re not taking any chance with him. We hope he’ll be alright.”
After Stallings’ injury, which delayed the game several minutes, Corbitt and Wright each scored touchdowns as Silver Bluff pulled away.
Daniel Carr and Dre’ Carr each scored touchdowns for Midland Valley in the final quarter, but by then the game was out of reach.
“They’re explosive, they got a bunch of yards, but we made enough stops and I thought we had a great game on offense,” Lown said.