HSFB GOTW: BA buckles down to win Shuford’s debut in blue

Lining up an early-August showdown with a SCISA 4A power for his debut in blue was a bold move, but Nic Shuford’s Beaufort Academy Eagles had his back Saturday night in the 1team1cause Recovery B0wl at Charleston Southern.

The Eagles forced three turnovers in the red zone, which proved to be the difference in a gritty 30-14 win over Trinity Collegiate that turned a measuring stick opener into a statement that BA is a title contender in SCISA 2A.

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Jaxen Porter rolled up 146 rushing yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns, two while absorbing or evading multiple would-be tacklers on rumbling journeys to the end zone. Porter was responsible for plenty of yards after contact, but a veteran offensive line led by Alex Williams and the unselfishness of backfield mate Devonte Green gave him room to work.

“Our offensive line played tremendous tonight,” Porter said. “Defense came out and stopped them. I just want to give a big shoutout to my offensive line and my other running back D(evonte Green). They were leading the way. Made my job a lot easier.”

BA asserted itself on the opening series, marching down the field in just over three minutes with a 12-yard run from Porter capping a brisk drive, but the offense stalled as the two-way starters had to conserve their energy and the pace slowed.

The bend-don’t-break defense preserved the lead when Jace Paulk picked a pass off the turf in the end zone for a touchback, and after the Titans took an 8-6 lead and recovered a BA fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but the defense got it right back when Tripp Gregory forced and recovered a fumble to give BA a chance to regain the lead before halftime.

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The Eagles ratcheted the tempo back up for the two-minute drill and marched 78 yards in six plays, using all but five seconds of the 1:46 on the clock before Dietrich Shuford plowed in on a sneak from the 1 and Green plunged in for two points and a 14-8 advantage.

Trinity took advantage of having the ball to start the second half and pulled even when eighth-grade quarterback Cade Amell lofted a beautiful ball to Tristan Spann on a fade route for a 30-yard touchdown. Amell also scored on a sneak in the first half in a strong showing for the young quarterback.

His counterpart orchestrated another masterful drive in response, though, as Dietrich Shuford used an array of receivers led by Devin Fripp to loosen up the Trinity defense, and then Porter took over.

The bruising senior plowed in for a 2-yard touchdown, and Shuford fooled the defense with a rollout jump pass to Zeke Gonzalez for the two-point conversion, then Porter put on a show with a 26-yard TD run behind Green’s lead block, taking on several Titans on the way to the clinching score.

“I’ve been working hard in the weight room all summer, just like the rest of our team,” Porter said. “We needed that touchdown to put it away, and the line opened it up and I did what I had to do.”

BA’s Jaxen Porter breaks away for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help seal a 30-14 win over Trinity Collegiate on Saturday at Charleston Southern. Porter rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. (Photo by Justin Jarrett / LowcoSports) CLICK FOR FULL GALLERY

Trinity made one more stand and drove into the red zone before Green laid a big hit to pop the ball loose and Gonzalez pounced on it, leaving BA needing just two first downs to assume the victory formation.

It was the kind of win that ensures the Eagles will have the attention of everyone on their schedule and everyone in SCISA 2A, if they weren’t already. But it was also just chapter one of a long season.

“We still have a long way to go, and we want to get better every week, but I feel like this was a strong start for us,” Porter said. “We saw what we’re good at and what we need to work on, so we’ll be even better next week, hopefully.”


BAJaxen Porter 12 run (kick failed)8:44 1Q60
TCSCade Amell 1 run (2-pt good)4:29 2Q68
BADietrich Shuford 1 run (Devonte Green run)0:05 2Q148
TCSAmell 30 pass to Tristan Spann (run failed)4:58 3Q1414
BAPorter 2 run (Shuford pass to Zeke Gonzalez)0:00 3Q2214
BAPorter 26 run (Green run)6:04 4Q3014

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