North Augusta throttles White Knoll
NORTH AUGUSTA 48, WHITE KNOLL 22
By WORTHY EVANS
Special to The Star
North Augusta was angry after last week’s 18-14 Region 5-AAAA loss to Lexington.
White Knoll felt all the pain from it on Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets jumped to an early 14-0 lead, then used a 21-point third quarter to take out the Timberwolves 48-22 at the Wolf Den.
“That’s a really good football team there,” said Timberwolves (6-2, 1-1) coach Dean Howell. “I know they had some misfortune, and they came out ticked off with something to prove. They came out and played pretty near perfect, and we made too many mistakes to play with a group like that.”
Yellow Jackets quarterback Trib Reece was 25-for-35 for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver Keyon West had eight catches for 103 yards.
North Augusta (7-1, 1-1) used last week’s defeat as a springboard for Friday night’s game.
“We played so poorly last week, it was really great to go out and play a game,” coach Dan Pippin said. “I was proud of the way the kids and coaches responded. We had a great week in practice.”
North Augusta could not have asked for a more perfect offensive start. In its first two series, Reece completed seven consecutive passes and led the Yellow Jackets on scoring drives of 42 and 87 yards.
Reece capped the opening drive with a 6-yard pass to Antaun Andrews. He then tossed a touchdown pass to D.J. Young from 10 yards out to put North Augusta up 14-0 with 3:33 left in the first quarter.
The White Knoll defense struggled to keep up with the Yellow Jackets, but the offense began to establish the run on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive straddling the first and second quarters. Quin Jones cut North Augusta’s lead in half with a 9-yard touchdown run at the 11:14 mark.
The Timberwolves’ defense stopped the Yellow Jackets on the next series, but North Augusta caught a break when Briggs Smith fell on a muffed punt.
That recovery led to a third North Augusta touchdown, a Ronald Williams 14-yarder with 8:38 to go in the second quarter.
White Knoll marched on another long drive, a 16-play, 80-yarder that quarterback Craig Blakey finished with a 3-yard dive into the end zone.
The Yellow Jackets took 1:35 off the clock on a 71-yard sprint to take a 27-14 lead. Keyon West ran it in from 5 yards out to give North Augusta a two-touchdown lead going into intermission.
“That was the biggest touchdown,” Pippin said. “I told our kids before the half that if we could score there, we could take them out of their game, because they (the Timberwolves) are pretty good offensively.”
The Yellow Jackets spread their lead by three more touchdowns in the third quarter. Another Reece-to-West connection, Ronald Williams’ 52-yard interception return, and Dashawn Barnes’ score from three yards out gave North Augusta a 48-14 advantage by the end of the period.
E’Mond Brown’s 3-yard TD run in the closing seconds finished the scoring.
Brown finished with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Howell’s focus now is keeping his team’s heads up despite a lopsided loss.
“We’re a lot better than when we started the season 5-0,” Howell said. “I know, for these kids, that it’s hard to see when they’re getting their tail wore out, but that was a pretty good football team they played.”