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BOONETOWN – In an emotionally charged game, Andrew Jackson’s defense forced five turnovers en route to a 42-14 thumping of cross-town rival North Central High in Boonetown on Friday night.
North Central capitalized on a Volunteer fumble on the first play from scrimmage with an 11-play, 83-yard TD march late in the first quarter. Tavarus Porter galloped 10 yards to cap the scoring drive. Alan Estrada tacked on the extra point and the Knights led 7-0.
AJ cornerback Gavin Clyburn put the Vols in business with the first of his two interceptions, snaring NCHS quarterback Trey King’s errant pass at the Knights’ 41.
Four plays later, AJ quarterback Ryan Phillips swept left 22 yards for the first Volunteer TD of the night. Brett Lucas converted the extra point and the game was deadlocked at 7-7 with 1:33 left in the first half.
The Volunteers’ defense forced a three-and-out and the offense used seven plays to cover 45 yards for the go-ahead score. Phillips, who accounted for five TDs on the night, threw a perfect 10-yard fade to Quadarius Fair for the touchdown. Lucas added the PAT and the Vols led 14-7.
After another three-and-out by the Knights, AJ set up at the NCHS seven-yard line after consecutive personal foul penalties. Phillips scored the second of his three touchdowns from the two-yard line. Tyler Denkins kicked the extra point to up the AJ lead to 21-7 with 7:44 left in the half.
The AJ defense forced a turnover on downs at the NCHS 10 when the punter’s knee touched the ground at the Knights’ 10. Clyburn threw an alley-oop pass for Fair from the 12-yard line and Fair pulled it in as easy as he would snare a rebound. Lucas again drilled the kick to up the AJ halftime lead to 28-7.
North Central clawed back into the game in the third quarter, with a two-play, 59-yard scoring drive.
NCHS’s King found a streaking Austin Freeman with a 58-yard scoring strike. Estrada’s kick sliced the AJ lead to 28-14.
The Vols immediately responded when Phillips connected with AJ senior speedster Bobby Delly on a beautiful 73-yard touchdown pass.
Delly split two defenders, kept his balance and raced in for the score. Lucas added the kick for a 35-14 lead.
“That touchdown was a key play in the game,” said AJ coach David Moore. “Ryan made a nice throw and Bobby split the defenders and made a great catch.”
Late in the game, AJ corner back Javarius Clyburn scooped up a fumble and bolted 26 yards to the Knights’ two-yard line. Phillips bulled his was into the end zone to end the scoring on the night. Denkins’ kick made the final score 42-14.
“We really did not start off well tonight,” said Moore. “We fumbled early and gave up the first score.”
Like our first two games, we got hit in the mouth and it takes us a while to recover.
“We did keep after them, because North Central has plenty of offensive weapons,” Moore noted. “We did play with more intensity tonight.”
Javarius Clyburn rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries to pace the AJ ground game. Phillips carried seven times for 28 yards and three touchdowns. Gavin Clyburn had 14 yards on 5 attempts. Chris White gained 10 yards one carry.
Phillips threw for 116 yards on 8-15 passes and he also threw two touchdowns. Clyburn was 1-3 passing for 12 yards, including a touchdown.
Bobby Delly had four receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. Quadarius Fair gained 32 yards on three catches, including two TDs.
Javarius Clyburn had two catches for 10 yards.
Gavin Clyburn had two interceptions, while Quincy Grier 100-yard pick six was nullified by a penalty.
Javarius Clyburn and Jonathon Brevard each had a fumble recovery.
AJ, 2-1, hosts St. John’s of Charleston Friday. St. John’s, 1-2, dropped a 10-6 loss to Stall of North Charleston on Friday night.