FOX CREEK 23, SILVER BLUFF 21
NORTH AUGUSTA — Jadon Johnson, flanked by two trainers, was helped to the sideline during the second half Friday night at Lions Memorial Field with his team trailing 21-9.
That's not how he wanted the story to end though. Johnson lobbied to get back in the game. After Micheal Adams engineered a scoring drive in Johnson's absences and the Fox Creek defense recovered another one of Silver Bluff's many fumbles on the night, Johnson got his chance. With his team trailing 21-16 and 4:54 left to play, Johnson returned.
He proceeded to lead Fox Creek (5-5, 2-3 Region 2-AA) on an 80-yard drive and to a 23-21 victory against Silver Bluff – the first in the programs history.
"That just lets you know about him and his heart and his determination," Fox Creek head coach Lafayette Stewart said of Johnson. "He's special. He has that 'it' factor, and I'm just glad he's leading our football team. He does a phenomenal job fighting through and persevering through, whether it's pain or adversity that happens during the game."
The Predators followed the lead of their sophomore quarterback the entire night. As adversity mounted, they stayed steady.
Fox Creek's star running back Ryan Chavous limped to the sideline after the first play from scrimmage and never returned. Then the Predators fell into a 21-9 deficit.
However, Fox Creek scored 14 unanswered points from there, capped by Johnson connecting with Deavion Scales for a 15-yard touchdown to win the game.
"I pump-faked to one of my receivers, and I saw that (the defender) bit on it, and I just threw it up and let my receivers go do what they've got to do," Johnson said.
While Johnson was sidelined, Adams helped the Predators draw closer. He completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jatonius Butler in the fourth to make it a one-score game.
Butler got the scoring started by taking a screen pass 70 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. However, that lead didn’t last long as JaCory Tanksley took the following kickoff 87 yards to the end zone for a score.
Tanksley scored later in the quarter on a 10-yard run also.
Darius Johnson gave Silver Bluff (2-8, 0-5) a two-touchdown lead with a 1-yard run in the third. From there, the Bulldogs’ offense sputtered as a result of several turnovers.
"I'm just glad our guys played the RTI way. That's relentless, tough and intelligent all the way for four quarters," Fox Creek head coach LaFayette Stewart said. "They didn't let up when they were behind and fought back. They just played resilient. I'm just so proud of them for the way they played."
Fox Creek will be the region's No. 4 seed in the playoffs and will have a road game next week, while Silver Bluff's season is over.