North Augusta tops South Aiken as emotions spill over

NORTH AUGUSTA — Emotions from a defensive dogfight led to more after one of the area’s games of the year Friday night.


North Augusta scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to top South Aiken 21-7 at the Jackets Nest in one of the most anticipated games of the area’s high school season.

Emotions ran high throughout the game, including many personal fouls and two scuffles in the first half. After a quiet second half, the intensity spilled over with a postgame brawl following the handshake. Punches were thrown before the two sides were separated.

The ugly finish marred a thrilling game on the field in which the two sides fought back and forth with major defensive stops, three interceptions from North Augusta’s DeJuan Bell and two key scores late.

The fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets (8-0, 2-0 Region Region 4-AAAA) avenged a 10-point loss from a year ago and immediately became the region front-runner. The fifth-ranked Thoroughbreds (6-2, 1-1), who reached the state semifinals last season, face the prospect of less than a No. 1 seed entering the playoffs.

After entering the fourth quarter tied at 7, North Augusta found a window with a 35-yard strike from Landon Washington to Kashaun Johnson. Washington eventually found the end zone on a 5-yard run for a 14-7 lead with 8:51 left.

After Bell’s third interception, the Yellow Jackets turned to Derius Gibson to put it away. On fourth and one with 26 seconds left, Gibson broke free for a 24-yard touchdown dagger and 21-7 lead.

The two star running backs thrived for each side. Gibson totaled 160 yards on 32 carries, while South Aiken’s Chris Roberts had 26 rushes for 135 yards.

In a game billed as a potential high-scoring affair, the two defenses found the spotlight. Bell picked off star South Aiken quarterback Cody Boynton three times as North Augusta repeatedly picked up big stops. South Aiken also fared well on defense until running out of gas in the fourth.

North Augusta scored first on a 2-yard touchdown run by Washington with 57 seconds left in the first quarter. South Aiken started a drive at the North Augusta 14 at one point in the second because of two personal fouls, but the Thoroughbreds were stuffed, and a 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

North Augusta 21, South Aiken 7

Play of the game: North Augusta’s Landon Washington punched it in from five yards for a 14-7 lead with 8:51 left. 

Star of the game: Yellow Jackets running back Derius Gibson rushed 32 times
for 160 yards and one touchdown, while DeJuan Bell recorded three interceptions.

Why North Augusta won: The Yellow Jackets repeatedly picked up huge defensive stops while coming through with two fourth quarter-touchdowns.

Why South Aiken lost: The Thoroughbreds failed to generate enough offense down the stretch and couldn’t stop Gibson on the biggest drive.



South Aiken 0 0 7 0 - 7
N. Augusta 7 0 0 14 - 21

First Quarter
NA-Landon Washington 2 run (Parker Baxley kick), 0:57

Third Quarter
SA-Deshun Kitchings 3 run (Marin Sanders kick), 4:18

Fourth Quarter
NA-Washington 5 run (Baxley kick), 8:51
NA-Derius Gibson 24 run (Baxley kick), 0:26

First Downs 13 15
Rushes-Yards 35-149 42-190
Passing Yards 95 80
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-23-3 7-17
Fumbles-Lost - 3-2
Punts-Yards 6-40 4-30
Penalties-Yards 5-65 6-60

RUSHING-South Aiken: Chris Roberts 26-135, Deshun Kitchings 7-19, Nequel Ryans 1-3, Cody Boynton 1-(-8). North Augusta: Derius Gibson 32-160, Landon Washington 9-23, DeJuan Bell 1-7. 

PASSING-South Aiken: Boynton 9-23-3 95. North Augusta: Washington 7-17 80. 

RECEIVING-South Aiken: Jesse Sanders 1-35, Roberts 2-24, Dallas McKeever 3-21, Kitchings 3-15. North Augusta: Tez Collins 3-22, Kashaun Johnson 1-35, DeJuan Bell 2-16, Lonnie Lee 1-7.



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