NORTH AUGUSTA - In the end, Irmo was in the right place at the right time.
The Yellow Jackets recovered a North Augusta fumble in the end zone for a touchdown with three minutes to play to secure a 31-24 victory Friday in a Region 5-4A matchup.
"Defensively, our kids played extremely hard," said Irmo coach Bob Hanna, whose team improved to 6-1. "I told them to play fast and trust what they saw."
The fumble recovery was one of four Irmo takeaways, including an end-zone interception in the final minute to preserve the win.
North Augusta struggled with penalties and turnovers in the first half and trailed 17-10 at the break.
North Augusta came out strong in the second half, putting together a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown to knot the score at 17 with 3:51 left in the third quarter.
"We're a good football team, and they're a good football team, and we realized they weren't going to quit just like we weren't going to quit," Hanna said. "We expected some of that."
With 9:47 left to play, Irmo quarterback David Olson lofted a pass over the top from inside the Irmo 20. David Frazier ran 50 yards after the catch and scored to put Irmo ahead 24-17.
Three minutes later, North Augusta pulled even with a 36-yard completion from Larenzo Hammonds to Jessie Pernell.
Hammonds completed 23 of 27 passes for 260 yards. Olson was 10-of-21 for 229 yards. Both teams tallied over 460 yards of offense.
"I just thought it was a great high school football game," said North Augusta coach Dan Pippin, whose team fell to 6-1. "I thought our effort was great and we played well. We've just got to eliminate some of those mistakes."
Irmo scored first, late in the first quarter, on its first possession. Olson completed four of six passes, including a 56-yard completion on fourth-and-20. He completed a 33-yard pass to Frazier for the score.
With 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter and North August driving, quarterback Larenzo Hammonds fumbled, and Isaac Scott recovered.
But three plays into the ensuing drive, Irmo fumbled a handoff to give possession back to North Augusta at the Irmo 28. North Augusta took less than two minutes to score, on Hammonds' 13-yard completion to Matt Hoazel knotted the score at 7 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
With junior tailback Dawan Scott carrying the load, Irmo responded with an 87-yard scoring drive that ended with Kyle Simpson's 34-yard field goal.
Two possessions later, North Augusta fumbled at its 6, and Irmo again recovered. Irmo capitalized, with Olson sneaking 12 yards for the score with 1:52 left in the half.
There was just enough time remaining for North Augusta to answer. Hammonds completed five of six passes for four first downs and 67 yards to set up Stephen Stuberfield's 25-yard field goal.
Note: Irmo running back Mustafa Greene sustained a high ankle sprain and did not play.
Irmo 7 10 0 14-31
North Augusta 0 10 7 7-24
I: David Frazier 33 pass from David Olson (Kyle Simpson kick); 3:23
NA: Matt Hazel 13 pass from Larenzo Hammonds (kick); 9:58
I: Kyle Simpson 34 field goal; 7:45
I: Olson 12 run (Simpson kick); 1:52
NA: Stephen Stuberfield 25 field goal; :00
NA: Jessie Pernell 7 pass from Hammonds (Stuberfield kick); 3:51
I: Frazier 83 pass from Olson (Simpson kick); 9:47
NA: Monquez McGuire 36 pass from Hammonds (Stuberfield kick); 6:13
I: fumble recovered in end zone (Simpson kick); 3:02
First downs 12 21
Rush-yards 26-131 29-107
Passing 229 260
Att-Comp-Int 21-10-0 31-23-1
Punts-avg. 2-30 2-25.5
Penalties-yards 4-39 5-25
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-3
Rushing: Dawan Scott 25-115. NA: Larenzo Hammonds 17-79
Recieiving: David Frazier 5-159. NA: Jessie Pernell 7-69.
Passing: David Olson 10-21-229 NA: Larenzo Hammonds 23-31-260.