Thursday, August 29, 2013
By Scott Rodgers
NORTH AUGUSTA — North Augusta couldn’t have asked for a much better season opener.
From the opening bell, North Augusta overpowered TL Hanna. Trib Reece was surgical to lead the way, completing 15 of 21 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns. He was an equal opportunist in the victory, with Keyon West, Dre Dunbar, Antaun Andrews and Jaleel Bryant all hitting pay dirt.
“I have to give all of the credit to my line,” Reece said. “I also have to give props to my receivers for making the plays, I just had to get them the ball. On that fourth touchdown, I told that receiver (Jaleel Bryant) that I was coming for him. I wanted to get everybody a touchdown.”
Dan Pippin, North Augusta’s coach, was pleased with his defense’s efforts.
“Defensively, I thought we played well all night,” he said after his team held TL Hanna to just three points. “I don’t think that we played well offensively in the second half. We’ve got to play better for when we’re in those close games. We made too many little mistakes. Hopefully it’s just because it was the first game.”
Last week at the Aiken County Jamboree, Pippin felt that his offensive line could have played much better. On this night, he felt some progress was made, but there was work that still needed to be done.
“I thought we played well on the third series of the second half,” Pippin said. “I don’t think we played very well until then.”
One player that Pippin did have high praise for, however, was Reece.
“I thought he made good reads most of the time,” Pippin said. “He does a good job, but we’ve still got to keep working.”
Coming into the matchup, a lot of the talk centered on the TL Hanna running game. North Augusta’s defense held them to 11 total yards on 21 carries. For the home team, Willie McCloud led the way on the ground with 82 yards and two touchdowns. Dashawn Barnes saw a near even number of carries with McCloud, with the former receiving 14 and the latter just nudging him out with 15. Coming into the year Pippin stated that he felt that his team would run the ball with more of a committee than a single workhorse.
“It’ll be the same way,” Pippin said of his plans with the backfield going forward. “I don’t think we ran the ball as good as we should have. We’ll just have to keep working on it.”
North Augusta’s next matchup will be a road test at Midland Valley next Friday. TL Hanna will attempt to get on the right track as they host Westside.
Midland Valley will prove to be a formidable foe, as cousins Daniel Carr at quarterback and Dré Carr at running back.
“They’re good,” Pippin said. “We’re going to have to be at our best to be able to compete with them. Just compete – let alone win, if we’re lucky.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.