Tuesday, September 2, 2014
In a game with many impressive defensive performances, Aaron Maddox stood out.
The junior had two fumble recoveries, including one that led to a North Augusta touchdown on Midland Valley’s second offensive play of the game.
He also had an interception and, along with the rest of the secondary, held Daniel Carr to just 109 yards passing.
For his play, Maddox has been named the Star player for week one of the high school football season.
Though the Jackets won the game in the second half, shutting out the Mustangs after spotting them 21 points in the first half, Maddox’s heads up play was crucial for North Augusta as the offense stumbled out of the gate.
“I just jumped on the ball in the end zone,” Maddox said. “I haven’t scored in a while, because I use to play offense. I play defense now, so I’m proud to score. Love that feeling.”
In back-to-back plays, Maddox halted the Mustangs from advancing past midfield.
After the Jackets took a 24-21 lead, Carr was leading a promising Mustang drive. Wide receiver Kameron Brown hauled in a 30-yard reception before Maddox laid the lumber and jarred the ball loose. On the next play Carr looked toward the right side again, and Maddox picked off the pass.
“It was trips, and the No. 2 receiver ran a post corner, and I just jumped it,” he said. “I caught it, made sure my feet were in bounds, and that was it.”
Maddox said that the Jacket defense made sure to watch the Mustang offensive line in the second half.
“We made sure to watch the tackles,” he said. “If the tackles were up, it was a pass. If they were down, it was a run. We made sure our secondary kept their eyes out of the backfield. Just see our receivers and play them.”
Louis Mackie, North Augusta’s defensive backs coach, said Maddox is one of the better athletes on the team – a trait that runs in the family.
His older brother, Brandon, signed to play for the Air Force Academy, and his dad, Richard, played at the University of Arizona.
“From the summer to now, he’s been making plays,” Mackie said. “I’m expecting those kind of plays from him. He’s only a junior. He played a little bit last year, but this is first real-time game action. He’s getting to the point where he’s a little bit more comfortable; he’s seeing things and the game is slowing down for him. I’m expecting this kind of performance from here on out.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.