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CHERAW – Cheraw honored its 1993 state championship football team on Friday, Oct. 11, and the 2013 Braves played like champions en route to a 40-20 thumping of Andrew Jackson at Cheraw.
The game’s tenor was set early when the Braves, on their opening possession, marched 76 yards in 12 plays for the game’s initial score.
CHS quarterback Robert Pitts fired a 14-yard scoring strike to David Brown. Michael Cranford kicked the extra point and CHS led 7-0 with 5:02 left in the first period.
Adversity struck AJ on the ensuing kickoff when the ball caromed off a Volunteer and the Braves’ Stephon Harrington recovered at the AJ 23.
Three plays later, Randall Watson found paydirt from the one-yard line. Cranford’s kick was true and Cheraw led 14-0 with 4:11 left in the first quarter.
“The kickoff fumble really swung the momentum to Cheraw,” said AJ coach David Moore. “We never could get untracked after that play.”
Cheraw tallied once more in the first half, covering 58 yards in four plays.The key play was a 54-yard pass from Pitts to Ted Gillespie to the AJ one. Watson covered the last yard for his second TD of the night. The two-point conversion was stopped short and CHS led 20-0 with 11:23 left in the half.
AJ drove to CHS 13 late in the second quarter only to turn the ball over on downs.
Late in the third quarter, Pitts scampered 61 yards for a TD with 2:13 remaining. Cranford added the kick, and the CHS lead swelled to 27-0.
With time almost expired in the third period, AJ quarterback Kolby Whitley found Corley Faulkenberry, who serpentined to the end zone from 29 yards out. McKenzie Denkins added the kick and the lead was cut to 27-7 with 52 seconds left in the third.
AJ continued to battle as a hustling Faulkenberry recovered a perfectly executed Dinkins’ onside kick. CHS forced a punt and the Braves covered 87 yards in six plays. Pitts found Gillespie from 12 yards out. Cranford’s kick upped the CHS lead to 34-7 with 10:16 left.
The Vols responded with a 78-yard scoring drive. An apparent 78-yard scoring pass from Whitley to Tray King was negated on a dubious clipping call. Five plays later, Whitley hit King from 18 yards out, and the Vols trailed 34-13 with 8:36 left.
AJ touched the onside kick prior to the ball going 10 yards and CHS started its final scoring drive from the 48.
Four plays later, backup CHS quarterback Tristan Campbell found Gillespie from 15 yards out for a 40-13 lead after the kick sailed wide.
The never-say-die Vols moved 80 yards for their final score, the big play a 41-yard pass from Whitley to King.
Whitley tossed a five-yard TD pass to Faulkenberry to slice the Braves’ lead to 40-20.
Faulkenberry recovered his second onside kick at the CHS 37, but the Vols were unable to move the ball.
Individually, Kolby Whitley was 10-24-1 for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Whitley rushed for 68 yards on 31 carries.
Anthony Truesdale rushed for eight yards on four carries. Anthony White gained five yards on three carries.
In receiving, King caught five passes for 95 yards. Dustin Eddins had three receptions for 55 yards. Faulkenberry caught three passes for 52 yards, including two scores.
The Volunteers, 3-4, 1-1 host Chesterfield on Friday. CHS, 4-3, 1-1, rolled to a 38-3 road win over Indian Land.