The home-schooled Augusta Eagles spoiled the Laurens Academy head-coaching debut of Jolly Doolittle Friday night, downing the Crusaders 20-14 with a last-minute touchdown.
The Eagles took the lead for the first time with less than 30 seconds left on the game, scoring a touchdown to take the victory.
LA opened the scoring on an 80-yard strike from quarterback Ethan Collins to Garrett Murphy. Jared Willard connected on a touchdown pass from near midfield to Buddy Baker, and the Crusaders (0-1) took a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Augusta (1-0), which had scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone in the first half, was able to tie the score at 14-14 in the second half.
LA appeared to have surged ahead in the final minutes when Murphy stripped an Eagles ball carrier and raced around 80 yards into the end zone, but the officials ruled the play dead due to an inadvertent whistle. Augusta was able to score the game-winning touchdown on its next possession.
Doolittle is in his first season at LA following seven seasons at Greenwood Christian and said there is work to do as the Crusaders prepare for their home opener this Friday against Richard Winn.
“We had typical first-game issues – some false starts, holding calls and bad snaps, some poor execution – all that stuff,” Doolittle said. “We’ve got to coach them better. It’s pretty hard, but we hung in there and we gave ourselves a chance to win at the end, but they had a chance and got it done.”
Hornets down Wolverines, 38-28
Ware Shoals running back Justice Lomax scored three touchdowns and rushed for more than 200 yards Friday night to lead the Fighting Hornets to a 38-28 Week 0 win over visiting Whitmire.
Hornets wideout Jasir Farhan also recorded a pair of touchdown receptions from Jayden Johnson in the victory.
The victory was the first for Ware Shoals head coach Christopher Dodson, who was hired this past offseason.
Prep Notes: Former Clinton assistant Mathew Bennett picked up his first victory as head coach of Ninety Six. Bennett’s Wildcats defeated Emerald 28-27 with a late go-ahead touchdown. . . . According to revamped schedules on MaxPreps, Thornwell Charter School’s first-year football team will travel to Calhoun Falls in Weeks 1 and 2 of the season, playing the Blue Flashes on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1.