Team South Carolina wins Border Bowl V
Area fans braved the cold temperatures Saturday morning at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium for the fifth annual Border Bowl high school All-Star football game.
Despite the chilly conditions, Team South Carolina made it a warm occasion for the Palmetto faithful by coming away with a thrilling 32-25 win over Team Georgia.
Team South Carolina, which overcame a 15-point first half deficit, capped the victory with a 90-yard interception return by Dejuan Bell of North Augusta High with 1:35 left to play.
With the victory, Team South Carolina takes the lead in the series 3-2.
The victory was especially sweet for area coaches Dwayne Garrick of Barnwell High, Derek Youngblood of Williston-Elko High and Ridge Spring-Monetta High coach Kenneth Lipsey.
Garrick said credit goes to the players for not losing hope when they got down early in the game.
“We fell behind by 15 points at the start, but we had a plan and we stuck with it,” Garrick said. “We felt good about our chances going into halftime after fighting back to cut the lead to 15-12. Defensively, we played really well in the second half. Offensively, we made plays when we had to, especially in the run game.”
Several local players shone on both sides of the ball in the classic.
Damoray Devoe of Allendale-Fairfax High was one of many standouts on defense with four tackles and three pass breakups.
Devoe, who played defensive back, said he was happy to come out on top in an exciting game.
“This was a big win for Team South Carolina,” Devoe said. “I thought I played good pass defense today. They didn’t throw a lot to my side of the field, but I was able to get in on a few tackles.”
Other standouts on defense included Dawon Joyner of Blackville-Hilda High, Meddikis Priester of Williston-Elko High and Sa’Veon Butler, Nick Hughes and Jerrald Manigault of Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
Priester played special teams and defensive back. He finished with five tackles and two pass break ups. Butler had a solid game with six tackles, including two for losses. Hughes registered five stops while Manigault recorded three tackles and two pass break ups.
Joyner, who was named Defensive Most Valuable Player in last month’s North-South All-Star game in Myrtle Beach, finished with three tackles.
“Man, it was tough in the trenches. They had a huge running back who has hard to get to the ground. Overall, it was a fun game and I really enjoyed the experience,” Joyner said.
Evander Tyler of Williston-Elko High suffered an injury during the practice week. Tyler, however, was dressed on the sideline for game day and supporting his teammates.
“It’s a little disappointing not being able to play, but it’s a great experience just to be here,” Tyler said.
On the opposite side of the ball, there were no shortage of highlights with Demarkiis Doe of Williston-Elko High, former Allendale-Fairfax High offensive lineman Tyrese Cohen of Midland Valley High and Barnwell High’s Mykal Lee, Hunter Webb, Pete Elmore and Jackson Carter making an impact offensively.
Doe played receiver and was targeted three times. He nearly pulled in an acrobatic catch on an under-thrown pass in the end zone right before the end of the first half.
Lee was used mostly as a lead blocker in the game at the H-back position. Lee’s best rushing attempt came on a nifty eight-yard run in the second quarter.
Carter played center and long snapper. He did a nice job of anchoring a South Carolina line that paved the way for 150 rushing on the day.
Webb had a solid game kicking. He had a 37-yard field goal and connected on three extra point attempts.
“I really enjoyed myself today. I thought I did a good job of representing Barnwell High,” Webb said.
Cheerleaders for the event were Kaylee Wootten of Williston and Sommer Gibson of Barnwell High. Trainers for the event were McKayla Anderson, Makenzie Anderson and Sydney Burbage.
“This game is getting better each year with the talent and overall participation,” Garrick said. “I thought our players did a great job of representing South Carolina in a very exciting game.”