An angry Bulldog bites hardest. Butler's Bulldog defense did most of the biting Friday, scoring three touchdowns in their 24-10 win over North Augusta.
This border war under the Friday night lights at Lumpkin Road Stadium was billed as a battle between two of the area's best running backs in North Augusta's Jamaal Johnson and Butler's Carlos Rogers.
Instead, it became the Bobby Maddox Show, with his defensive teammates serving as a capable supporting cast.
The 6-foot, 180-pound junior defensive end, playing in his second varsity game, used Yellow Jackets quarterback Bobby White's follies for his own coming out party.
Early in the second quarter, as White dropped to pass, the southpaw felt Maddox's pressure and tried to scramble to his left. White then tried a flip pass, but the ball slipped from his hand and into Maddox's mits for a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 6-0 Butler lead.
"I wanted to get up on his back, but I saw the ball and went after it," Maddox said. "Then I just ran to daylight."
Then with North Augusta pinned deep in its territory prior to halftime, White tried to surprise Butler with a quick kick. Ah-ha, there was Maddox again, blocking the punt and pouncing on the bouncing ball for Butler's second touchdown.
"I didn't think I'd get that one," Maddox said. "But after I blocked it, I fell right on it."
"Bobby did OK last week in his first varsity game (a loss to Josey last week)," Butler coach David Land said. "I don't think he was as nervous tonight and he really stepped up his game. The whole defense did an outstanding job, and we needed them to."
The Bulldogs limited North Augusta to 90 yards of total offense, and Johnson, who entered as the area's leading rusher, left tattered with 82 yards on 25 carries and his team's only touchdown. Rogers rushed 15 times for 50 yards and caught a late touchdown pass.
While Maddox was the game's early star, Butler senior Jamilah Thomas warranted his own game ball after he recovered a Johnson fumble and intercepted his own White pass, rumbling 60 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
In all, Butler tenacious defense forced two fumbles, sacked White five times and intercepted three passes.
Yellow Jackets coach Joe Long has had better nights, especially after White twisted his right ankle late in the fourth quarter, and defensive lineman Skyler Collier tore his left knee's anterior cruciate ligament.
And a week after bumbling away chances in a loss to Midland Valley, North Augusta's offense never could get out of its own way.
"It's frustrating because we're playing good enough defense to win ball games," Long said. "But we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We're killing ourselves week after week. We need to get some consistency in our offense or it's going to be a long season."