The Augusta Orioles blocked out the noise and won on the road against county rival El Dorado
EL DORADO — Hard to believe Gavin Kiser is only a sophomore but his play rivaled that of a seasoned veteran in the 21-14 win over in-county rival El Dorado on Friday night.
He tried to do it all, whether it was throwing or carrying the ball. Sometimes, he admits he was trying to do too much but it's all about the passion he has for his teammates and it showed in the win.
Kiser finished with 48 yards rushing and another 70 through the air. He also accounted for both touchdowns running in the first half. All of that added up to a 2-0 start for the Orioles.
"He made some plays for us and he made some mistakes," Augusta head coach Jason Filbeck said. "He's only a sophomore and he's just going to keep getting better and better."
Kiser is one of those knowns people spoke about when talking about Augusta. When you lose players like Ely Wilcox, Ryan Andrews and Jett Hand, among position players, you leave question marks to be answered.
Kiser is answering those so far.
While there are mistakes to be made, like fumbling on a third down at the El Dorado 1-yard line, there's growth, like finding Sebastian Flower on a leak out play action for the big yardage pick up.
"I just have to be smarter in those situations," Kiser said. "That's something I'll improve on."
On the night, Kiser finished 4 of 9 for 70 yards and one touchdown.
His down hill running, combined with the multiple options the Orioles have, whether it be Flower, who had 102 all-purpose yards on the night, it appeared El Dorado didn't have an answer for their running game. Augusta finished with 182 yards rushing, including 105 of that in the first half.
"We knew this was going to be a physical game," Filbeck said. "Last year they 'out-physical'd' us. This year we did it to them."
After halftime after Augusta marched nine plays in 5:42 to grab the 21-6 lead when Kiser found fellow sophomore Gage Kaus for the 9-yard touchdown drive that put El Dorado on their heels for the rest of the game.
Augusta's defense kept them there.
The answer to why Augusta is 2-0 is their defense. They were aggressive and were sound in their tackling and weren't afraid to gang tackle a ball carrier.
"Our defense is really special," Flower said. "Those guys can really get to the ball."
Though the Wildcats had only one real big run, a 64-yard touchdown run by senior Jaydon Sundgren to bring the game within 7-6 in the second quarter.
Augusta also limited El Dorado on third down, holding the Wildcats to 3 of 15 on third downs on the night.
"Our defense is kicking butt all over the place," Filbeck said. "We had a lot of kids graduating, but our young kids listen and they try and we can roll with kids who do their job."
Now, the Orioles have the 2-0 record in their pocket and they welcome another county rival, Circle (1-1), into Hiller Stadium next week in a rematch of a game that came down to the wire last year.
"They almost beat us last year," Filbeck said. "We're not going to underestimate them. We'll come ready to play."
Augusta 21, El Dorado 14
A — 2-yard TD run by Gavin Kiser (kick good).
E — 64-yard TD run by Jaydon Sundgren (PAT no good).
A — 7-yard TD run by Kiser (kick good).
A — 9-yard TD pass from Kiser to Gage Kaus (kick good).
E — 43-yard TD pass from Gannon White to Drew Veatch (run good).
RUSHING: AUG— Williams 16-65; Kiser 23-48; Flower 12-32; Blackwell 2-31; Martin 2-6. ELDO—Sundgren 23-146; Rice 7-47; Summers 1-8; Veatch 1-7; White 5-5; Cavallaro 2-4; Fowler 1-(-3).
PASS (C-A-I-TD): AUG—Kizer 4-9-0-0 70; Flower 1-1-0-0 11. ELDO—White 3-10-0-0 44.
Receiving: AUG—Fowler 3-70; Price 1-11. ELDO—Veatch 1-43; Baker 1-4; Rice 1-(-3).