Late heroics preserve win for Bulldogs
By Mike Rosier | Morris News Service
Saturday, September 12, 2009

AIKEN --- Running back Robert Green had been held in check for most of the game, but when seventh-ranked Silver Bluff needed a big play late in the fourth quarter, the senior delivered on the road at South Aiken.

Trailing by four points late in the fourth quarter, Green busted open a fourth-and-1 play with a 41-yard touchdown jaunt with 3:56 left to lift the Bulldogs to a 24-21 victory at the Stomping Grounds.

The Bulldogs (3-0) had just enough left following last week's nail-biter victory over Aiken in five overtimes.

"I can't say enough about these kids tonight because they showed some guts when it really counted there in the fourth quarter when we had to have it," Silver Bluff head coach Al Lown said.

"We're just tickled pink to be 3-0 right now. There in the second half when South Aiken had all the momentum -- and I'm telling you they had it -- we had to answer back and they did it. Green made a big play there for us after turning his ankle in the first half, but Cordrea (Tankersley) and A.J. Washington ran it hard for us tonight."

The Bulldogs used big plays to grab a quick 14-0 first quarter lead on a 75-yard pass from quarterback Austin Pollock to tight end Demarcus Lawrence and a 63-yard run from Tankersley.

Then, kicker Kyle Mackey booted a 47-yard field goal to put an exclamation point on the first half with Silver Bluff firmly in control at 17-0.

The Thoroughbreds (0-3) rallied in the second half. South Aiken used a hook-and-ladder play for 43 yards and a 45-yard pass play on a fake field goal from punter Ben Donath.

A Silver Bluff interception handed the ball back to South Aiken in the fourth quarter. The Thoroughbreds drove 45 yards to take a 21-17 lead with 6:36 left.

"I sit here smiling and all, but I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids tonight," South Aiken head coach Robert Wrightenberry said.

"There in that last 24 minutes of the game I was extremely proud. We didn't do much offensively in the first half and these guys could have folded the tent but they didn't do that and they got back in the football game. Right now we just have to keep on improving and just try to get better next week against Strom Thurmond."

But Silver Bluff went 80 yards in just seven plays as Green capped the comeback victory.

SILVER BLUFF 24, SOUTH AIKEN 21

PLAY OF THE GAME: On fourth-and-1 at the South Aiken 41, senior running back Robert Green broke loose for the game-winning score with 3:56 to play.

Player OF THE GAME: The running back tandem of Cordrea Tankersley and Andre Washington rushed for 202 yards.

WHY SILVER BLUFF WON: Big plays early and big guts late. The Bulldogs were clearly on the ropes in the second half after allowing three consecutive scores by the Thoroughbreds, but Silver Bluff regained its composure and drove the ball late in the fourth quarter.

WHY SOUTH AIKEN LOST: The Thoroughbreds, who head coach Robert Wrightenberry said missed tons of tackles last week against speedy North Augusta, did a much better job against the Bulldogs, but could not contain the speed of Silver Bluff.

NEXT: Midland Valley at Silver Bluff, 7:30 p.m., and South Aiken at Strom Thurmond, 7:30 p.m.

From the Saturday, September 12, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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