With the new classifications this season, the Georgetown Bulldogs and Aynor Blue Jackets share a region for the first time and had never played each other in football so Friday’s night matchup was somewhat of a litmus test for both programs.
The visiting Bulldogs came away with encouraging results, putting the game away early with a strong first half and coasting to a 33-0 victory over the Blue Jackets in the Region VI-AAA opener for both programs.
“Everybody (starting region play) was 0-0 tonight, and it is always good to get off to a 1-0 start in region play,” Georgetown coach Ken Cribb said. “I thought we played well on defense. Anytime you get a win over a team that is 4-1, it is a good thing. We just got to keep trying to get better each week.”
Georgetown wasted little time introducing itself to its new region rival, taking the game’s opening possession 78 yards in seven plays and grabbing a quick 6-0 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass from senior Tyler McAlister to junior Deakidd Anderson. It was the first of four first-half touchdowns for McAlister. The senior hit Fred Taylor for a 4-yard score late in the first quarter and then had TD runs of 32 and 11 yards, respectively, in the second quarter as Georgetown took a 27-0 lead into halftime.
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But it was the Georgetown defense that caught Aynor coach Jody Jenerette’s attention.
“(Perennial region power) Dillon is on another level, but Georgetown is going to give them a fit on defense,” Jenerette said. “[Georgetown is] big and physical, and [Dillon is] going to have to throw it a little bit to beat Georgetown. I don’t see anyone just lining up and pounding the ball on Georgetown. I’d be shocked, but I have been wrong before.”
The shutout was the Bulldogs’ second in as many games and the unit limited the Aynor offense to 82 total yards. Aynor ran just one play in Georgetown territory and that came when a Bulldogs punt returner mistakenly touched a punt as it lay on the ground and failed to cover it up. Aynor fumbled on the next play.
“[Our defense] has come a long ways,” Cribb said. “I thought we had the potential the whole time, and they have come a long ways. They have gotten a lot more physical and giving a lot more effort than they gave in the beginning of the year. If we are going to have a chance it is going to be because of [the defense]. They are going to have to keep us in a lot of games.”
Despite the final score, Jenerette remains confident in his young team.
“[Georgetown is] very good, and we are just playing with babies right now and that is what happens when you roll up with a team with 16 seniors and a dominant defense,” Jenerette said. “They may not be as good as Dillon on defense, but they are definitely in the conversation. It is not what we expected obviously. I thought we had two really good weeks of practice leading up to this and I thought we gave great effort. I know it sounds crazy, but I thought we gave pretty good effort.”
Ethan Martin led the Aynor offense with 34 yards rushing while Brayden Nobles added 31 yards on the ground. The Blue Jackets (4-2) visit Waccamaw next week.
“We have to win next week,” Jenerette said. “Waccamaw is a winnable game we think. They have a good running back and they have a good line so we are going to face some guys we are going to have to be able to move a little bit. I think if we get through the feeling of this loss, come back on Monday and work a little bit, you never know what is going to happen.”
McAlister’s final numbers were modest with 65 yards passing and 46 rushing while Tony Lara led the Bulldogs’ rushing attack with 85 yards on eight carries. Taylor scored the lone second-half touchdown on a 53-yard run from the quarterback spot and finished with 65 yards rushing and 27 receiving.
Georgetown (4-2) hosts Lake City next week.
G—Deakidd Anderson 23 pass from Tyler McAlister (kick failed), 9:50
G—Fred Taylor 4 pass from McAlister (Anderson run), 4:32
G—McAlister 32 run (Josh Jones kick), 7:26
G—McAlister 11 run (kick failed), 4:26
G—Fred Taylor 53 run (kick failed), 11:30
Rushing: Georgetown, Deakidd Anderson 1-17, Tony Lara 8-85, Tyler McAlister 7-46, Christian Johnson 2-19, Diquawn Washington 4-29, Fred Taylor 2-65, Jahbriel Walker 1-13, Cario Brown 1-2, Team 1-(-1). Aynor, Ethan Martin 9-34, Noah Seaver 1-(-1), Caleb Jenerette 6-(-7), Brayden Nobles 6-31, Spencer Sarvis 1-(-2), Blade Rabon 2-3, #41 2-6, Nathan Williamson 2-7, Dreqwan McCray 1-0, Team 1-(-1).
Passing: Georgetown, McAlister 6-16-0-65. Aynor, Sarvis 2-6-0-12.
Receiving: Georgetown, Anderson 2-34, Taylor 3-27, Johnson 1-4. Aynor, Jenerette 1-8, Martin 1-4.