Aynor took down Green Sea Floyds 36-22 Friday night, ending the Trojans' 10-game winning streak and preserving the Blue Jackets' unblemished record.
“They were the most physical team we had played in a while,” Aynor head coach Jason Allen said of the reigning 1A state champions. “I told our guys that we just had to get into the third and fourth quarter. We had to play some old school football to pull this one out.”
The 3A Blue Jackets opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run from quarterback Andrew Brown. The two-point conversion gave Aynor an 8-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Green Sea Floyds responded with a touchdown drive of its own, capped by an Ethan Damron score. However, the Trojans couldn’t complete the two-point conversion and it was 8-6 with under two minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Trojans almost took the lead after getting into the red zone thanks to a 47-yard run by quarterback Bubba Elliot. However, GSF's chance to get into the end zone stalled after a muffed snap went for a loss of 22 yards.
An Elliot scramble then came up five yards short and the Trojans turned the ball over on downs.
Aynor marched down the field and Brown found Riley Phipps for a 29-yard strike. The two-point conversion gave the Blue Jackets a 16-6 lead with just over a minute left in the first half.
The Trojans opened the second half with a big touchdown run from Elliot and a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 16-14.
But Brown made his second touchdown run of the night with 5:57 left in the third quarter and the Blue Jackets regained a 10-point advantage after notching the two-point conversion.
After getting the ball back following a turnover on downs, Aynor added to its lead with a three-yard touchdown run from Ahmad Gerald to make it 30-14.
Despite the lead, Green Sea Floyds kept fighting and did its best to mount a comeback.
“I had great confidence in our defensive coordinator Billy Jones,” Allen said. “I felt that if our guys were able to drop them for a loss, we would be able to pull out the win.”
Elliot missed a few plays due to a cut on his finger, but backup Aaron Graham stepped up big, helping GSF cut into the Aynor lead. With a 50-yard touchdown pass from Graham to Jaquan Dixon with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, the Trojans looked to keep things interesting.
“He’s a real special athlete,” Green Sea Floyds coach Donnie Kiefer said of Graham. “We can play him anywhere and we really don’t give him as many touches as he should have.”
Trailing by only eight, the Trojans needed a stop on fourth-and-two to get the ball back. Instead, Brown went 41 yards for an Aynor touchdown to make it 36-22 with 5:20 left in the game.
As the Trojans were looking to make a comeback, Elliot saw his pass intercepted by Phipps with 1:16 left in the game, sealing the victory for Aynor.
“We are far from done,” Kiefer said. “We just don’t have that much depth right now. I am proud of our kids. They could have given up a lot sooner but they didn’t.”
Aynor finished the game with 306 rushing yards on 49 carries and 61 yards passing. Green Sea Foyds had 227 yards rushing on 34 carries and 58 yards passing. Brown led all Aynor rushers with 19 carries for a total of 110 yards.
“We take each game as the biggest game of the year,” said Aynor offensive lineman Colby Todd. “We are going to take it step by step and play our hearts out every single game.”