Augusta Christian ended Hammond’s 19-game win streak with a 29-28 win over the Skyhawks in Friday’s showdown between the two remaining unbeaten teams in SCISA football.
In the process, the visitors ended a 10-game losing streak to Hammond dating to 2006.
The Lions (8-0, 7-0 SCISA 3A) pulled off a game-winning drive after Hammond took a 28-21 lead with 2:50 remaining. On the arm of senior quarterback Tyler Roberson, Augusta Christian marched 65 yards on nine plays for a touchdown and two-point conversion pass with 32 seconds remaining.
“It was a challenge to see how we would respond under pressure after we lost the lead,” said Roberson, who completed his final four passes on the drive culminating with a 31-yard scoring strike to Nick Fortenberry.
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Roberson then added a two-point pass to Sean Sweeting for the winning points.
Augusta Christian seemingly lost the ball on downs after a fourth-down incompletion, but the Lions received new life on a pass interference call against Hammond. Later, a holding call wiped out a 19-yard scoring pass by Roberson, but the senior came right back to hit Fortenberry on a post route for the touchdown.
“I was debating whether to kick it or not it in my mind, but the seniors all wanted to go for it,” Augusta Christian coach Keith Walton said.
It was a chance at vindication for Roberson.
“We were in the same situation last year, called the same play for the two-pointer, but I fumbled the ball,” he said. “God gave me another chance, but though this is a great win, there is no ring, no trophy for it. It was just for us.”
Hammond (8-1, 6-1) also showed plenty of resolve. The Skyhawks lost senior quarterback Jake Nidiffer to a first-quarter concussion. Nidiffer threw two touchdowns passes before leaving the game for the hospital at halftime.
Sophomore Nick Garrett stepped in and led Hammond on two fourth-quarter scoring drives after Augusta Christian tied it up early in the final frame. Garrett finished with 83 yards rushing on 10 carries, and his touchdown and two-point run gave the Skyhawks the lead.
“I though Garrett handled himself well, ran the ball beautifully,” Hammond coach Erik Kimrey said. “We just fell a few plays short, and Augusta Christian is a great team and found a way to win. We’re disappointed we lost, but we understand that it all comes down to a three-game winning streak in November.”
Hammond’s Quayshon Myers had a game-high 153 yards rushing on 28 carries.
H: Cannon Smith 9 pass from Jake Nidiffer (Ken Krupa kick), 7:44
H: Braden Shockley 9 pass from Nidiffer (Krupa kick), 3:20
AC: Tyler Roberson 32 run (Heath Brace kick), 10:31
AC: Thomas Banks 1 run (Brace kick), 4:37
AC: Roberson 1 run (Brace kick), 11:40
H: Myers 28 run (kick failed), 8:25
H: Nick Garrett 1 run (Garrett run), 2:50
AC: Nick Fortenberry 31 pass from Roberson (Sweeting pass from Roberson), 0:32
Rushing: AC, Roberson 10-56, Banks 20-84, Sweeting 9-20. H, Myers 25-153, Nidiffer 3-37, Garrett 10-83, Shockley 1-6.
Passing: AC, Roberson 11-18-0-121. H, Nidiffer 3-7-0-35, Garrett 5-11-0-21.
Receiving: AC, Sweeting 3-34, Fortenberry 3-38, Newman 3-40, McDaniel 1-9. H, Smith 2-14, Shockley 3-42.