The Blue Jackets took care of business Friday night.
Now, there is plenty of work to do in order to earn a playoff spot out of a jumbled Region VIII-AA.
Kamron Johnson ran for 211 yards and three touchdowns, Daquan Smith rushed for 113 yards and a score and the Aynor football team beat Mullins 44-35 on Friday night to improve to 2-2 in the region and set up a showdown with Loris next week.
“It’s good to do it right here in front of these fans,” Aynor coach Jody Jenerette said of the key win.
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Aynor sits in a tie with Waccamaw, which beat the Blue Jackets a week ago, and Marion improved to 1-3 in region play with a win over the Warriors. It sets up a scenario that could wind up with three teams at 2-3 by the end of next week.
Aynor hosts Loris, Waccamaw hosts Dillon (4-0 in region play) and Marion will host Mulins (0-4).
The Blue Jackets now have added incentive as they prepare to host the rival Lions in a week.
“Loris is great on defense. I think they’re good enough on offense that they could beat us,” Jenerette said. “But there is something about this group that I really like. We’ll play well Friday and whether that’s good enough or not I don’t know. If we play well, we’ve got a shot; if we play bad, we don’t have a shot.”
The Blue Jackets played well enough Friday, winning wire-to-wire. However, Jenerette felt the margin of victory could have been larger.
“There were a bunch of yards we left out there,” he said. “We didn’t get first downs at the end of the game [to put it away]. They were big and physical. We’ve just got to get those first downs. We’ve got to run the ball and pound the ball and find a way to win.”
The same can be said for next week against Loris as plenty will be on the line.
“Huge,” Jenerette said of the game. “You’ve got no idea how big that is.”
The Blue Jackets’ won’t prepare any differently than in any other week, though, Jenerette said.
“We try to stay as normal as we can,” Jenerette said. “The more normal you are with your kids, the more locked in they’ll be. We’re not trying to change anything.”
AYNOR SCORING PLAYS
Kamron Johnson 3 run (Jalin Dixon run)
Dixon 25 run (conversion failed)
Johnson 67 run (Daquan Smith run)
Zack Jenerette 49 pass from Jackson Woodle (Dixon pass from Woodle)
Johnson 20 run (Smith run)
Smith 5 run (conversion failed)
AYNOR INDIVIDUAL STATS
Johnson 23-211, Smith 24-113, Dixon 7-49, Caleb Jenerette 5-18.
Woodle 3-6-0 95, Caleb Jenerette 1-3-0 34.
Johnson 1-43, Zack Jenerette 2-82, Dixon 1-3.
•(At) Marion 32, Waccamaw 14
| Running back Janarick Reed’s three touchdowns helped keep his Swamp Foxes’ playoff hopes alive with a victory over Waccamaw.
Reed took the opening kickoff 94-yards for a score and early 7-0 lead.
“It feels good,”Reed said of the win. “I wanted to let these boys go out on a good senior year. We had to win by 13 and I just tried to push.”
The Warriors were able to get on the board with 20 seconds remaining in the opening quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run from Kevin Gasque to even the game.
Waccamaw recovered squid kick to start the second quarter, taking the lead with a two-yard touchdown run from Gasque. However, Reed struck again with a 97-yard kickoff return to cut the Warriors’ lead 14-13 at halftime.
Reed added a seven-yard touchdown run for a 19-14 lead to start fourth quarter.
The Swamp Foxes forced punt and got ball back at their own 16-yard line before fullback Ta’Jon Jordan broke away on 75-yard touchdown run for the 25-16 lead with 7:58 remaining.
Marion followed up with sack to force a turnover on downs on Waccamaw at the 3:24 mark and moved the chains across midfield with a fake punt, setting up Darius Hunt’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Dahndray Foxworth for the final score.
Reed finished with 110-yards on 24 carries and 301 all-purpose yards.
•Latta 17, (at) Carvers Bay 14 (OT)
| The Bears’ playoff hopes took a big blow with the loss.
Carvers Bay is now in a tie with the Vikings at 2-2 in Region VIII-A with a visit to Hemingway (4-0 in region) left on the schedule.
•Creek Bridge 30, (at) Green Sea Floyds 0
| The Trojans fell to 0-4 in Region VIII-A play.
The Florence Morning News contributed to this story.