The Augusta Orioles held off a comeback by the visiting El Dorado Wildcats on Friday night, winning by a score of 28-20 despite a valiant effort by the Wildcats in the fourth quarter.
Augusta Sophomore Ely Wilcox recovered a Wildcat fumble to get the Orioles rolling midway through the first quarter. Augusta capitalized on the turnover, as sophomore running back Ryan Andrews led the Orioles down the field and punched in a twelve yard touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead with just over three minutes left in the opening quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Orioles continued to give the Wildcats problems with a blocked punt that was recovered by senior Ceetyn Anderson just nine yards from the Orioles end zone. Augusta quickly scored, ending the drive with a two yard touchdown run by Ryan Andrews for his second touchdown.
The Orioles defense did not stop there, as sophomore Duke Lichlyter returned an interception 58 yards to the six yard line. Quarterback Jayden Wilson added six points for the Orioles after capping off the drive with a one yard touchdown run to give the Orioles a commanding 21-0 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Augusta picked up right where they left off as Ceetyn Anderson took back the opening kick 82 yards for a touchdown, giving them a 28-0 advantage over El Dorado.
The Wildcats began to find their stride with just under four minutes left in the third quarter, when senior Braden Morgan ran for an 81 yard touchdown to cut Augusta’s lead to 28-6.
El Dorado got the ball back with an interception from senior Dylan Wittum, and Braden Morgan quickly added another touchdown, this time from three yards out. After a successful two-point conversion, The Wildcats would cut the Augusta lead to 14.
Braden Morgan continued to dominate the Augusta defense, as he ran for a 68-yard touchdown on the following drive. El Dorado brought the game to a one possession deficit, trailing by eight with 7:37 left in the final quarter.
After a successful defensive stop, the Wildcats got the ball back with around three minutes left in the game. The potential game tying drive was cut short, when Ceetyn Anderson came up big for the Orioles once again, intercepting a pass that sealed the deal for an Orioles victory.
Braden Morgan led the charge for the Wildcat offense, racking up 196 yards on the ground along with three touchdowns. For the Orioles, Ryan Andrews had 93 yards rushing to go with two touchdowns.
El Dorado falls to 2-6 with the loss, while Augusta improves to 3-5 on the season.
With the start of playoffs next Friday, Oct. 26, both the Wildcats and Orioles will have to play a road game. Their opponents will be determined tomorrow after the conclusion of the final 4A football game tomorrow afternoon. Brackets will be posted on KSHSAA.org this weekend.