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KERSHAW – Andrew Jackson quarterback Kolby Whitley accounted for five touchdowns, including three strikes to fleet receiver Quadarius Fair, in leading the Volunteers past Great Falls, 35-15 at Andrew Jackson on Friday night.
Fair, who caught eight passes for 142 yards, tied the Andrew Jackson single-game touchdown reception record held by his father, Vols’ receiver coach Alex Fair, and Donnie Catoe.
The Volunteers, 2-2, struck first after Fair picked off an errant Red Devil pass and returned it 39 yards to the GFHS 16. Two plays later, Whitley found Fair on a perfect 14-yard play-action pass. Chandler Neal converted the extra point and the Vols led 7-0 with 7:23 left in the opening quarter.
The scrappy Red Devils struck back quickly when Richard Lee intercepted a Whitley pass and returned it 65 yards for a tying touchdown with 3:57 left in the first. Jonathan Thompson kicked the extra point.
AJ marched 74 yards in five plays for the go-ahead score, with Whitley to Fair covering the final 59 yards. The extra point was blocked.
On the next AJ possession, Whitley hooked up with Tray King for 63 yards down to the Red Devils’ five-yard line. The Great Falls defense stiffened and Neal drilled a 21-yard field goal with 8:07 left in the half to up the AJ lead to 16-7.
D.C. Caldwell returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the GFHS 47-yard line. Seven plays later, Jake Payseur rumbled five yards for a touchdown. Caldwell rushed for the two-point conversion to slice the AJ halftime lead to 16-15.
The Vols continued to play opportunistic football in the second half when Damarzia Truesdale pounced on a Great Falls’ fumble at the GFHS 44 on the third play of the second half.
AJ moved 44 yards in four plays when Whitley completed the trifecta, finding Fair on a 32-yard scoring strike with 9:04 left in the third.
The extra point was blocked and AJ held a 22-15 lead.
Johnny-on-the-spot Luke Kennington set up the next AJ score when he recovered a muffed punt return at the GFHS 18.
Three plays later, Whitley called his own number and dove into the end zone from the two. King “laid out” on a acrobatic 16-yard reception from Whitley to set up the score.
Neal added the point for a 29-15 AJ lead with 4:21 left in the third period.
AJ moved 68 yards in 13 plays for its final score.
A key roughing the passer personal foul on third down kept the drive alive. Whitley scored from the one on a quarterback sneak. The extra point was blocked to make the final score, 35-15.
“We made some big plays on offense tonight,” AJ coach David Moore said. “We were able to get some mismatches with Q (Fair) and Kolby did a good job of getting the ball out to him.
“Defensively, we raised up and made some big plays, especially on turnovers,” added Moore. “We did not quit tonight and were rewarded with some players making outstanding plays in all facets of the game.
“With Gavin Clyburn out with a groin injury, we felt Q would receive some double-team looks,” said Moore. ”Inspite of those looks, we felt we could throw the ball coming in.
“Next week will be a great game for our fans,” said Moore. “North Central will be 3-1 and should bring a large number of fans to Volunteer Stadium.”
“We will be reading again on Friday at Heath Springs Elementary – as a good luck charm.
“We will honor our teachers before the game at 7:15 because of Teacher Appreciation Week,” said Moore. “In addition, we will honor the memory of the late coach Chad Faulkenberry at halftime, so we hope we have a large crowd.”
Whitley was 14-21 for 246 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Whitley also rushed for 43 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
William Cunningham rushed for 17 yards on nine carries. Corley Faulkenberry picked up 16 yards on seven attempts.
In addition to Fair’s 142 yards on eight catches, King snared three passes for 84 yards.
Faulkenberry had two receptions for 15 yards and Cody Ussery caught one pass for five yards.
Caldwell led GFHS with 91 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Red Devils quarterback Clark Schofield was 4-10 for 24 yards.