Evans High School gave North Augusta a challenge from start to finish Friday evening, but the Yellow Jackets held on, ending their six-quarter scoreless streak and racking up a 14-7 win at home.
The home team "didn't execute well" in the first half, in the words of Brian Thomas, the Jackets' coach. He credited his squad with making effective corrections in the second half.
The Jackets (1-1) scored twice in the second half. The offense was sparked, in large part, by a punt. Justin Merriweather pinned Evans inside its own 5 early in the third quarter. The defense stood tall and forced a punt, giving North Augusta great field position. Bradley Godwin broke a lengthy run to put North Augusta on the doorstep, and Jacari Buckson ran it in from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7.
Austin Harrell connected with Jordan Wilburn early in the fourth quarter for a 25-yard touchdown to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the season.
Evans appeared to have been in prime position to score after a bad snap sailed over the North Augusta punter's head and Evans recovered in North Augusta territory, but a penalty led to North Augusta having another chance to punt.
North Augusta's defense stood tall as it had throughout the evening and kept Evans out of the end zone on one last drive. The Jackets head back across the Savannah River on Friday to face Grovetown.
The Warriors will enter that game with a 1-1 record, reflecting a pair of blowout shutouts. They were smashed in their opener, 44-0 at Richmond Hill Aug. 23, and then stomped Midland Valley Aug. 30, 27-0, in Grovetown.
"We've got a few minor adjustments to make, to get kids lined up properly," Thomas said, when referring to the priority to start this week's practices. "We're just working on fundamentals."