By SARAH K. SPENCER, Index Journal
Up 13-0 in the second quarter thanks to rushing touchdowns on back-to-back drives by Cortney Jackson, Abbeville’s defense found itself in unfamiliar territory — its own. Mid-Carolina had driven down the field and stood 11 yards away from a one-score game. On fourth down, the Rebels went for it, but were stuffed as defensive end Charleton Goodwin dropped quarterback Cade Ruff for a loss and the Panthers took over on downs.
Abbeville’s defense gave up 179 yards through the air and 250 rushing yards but limited Mid-Carolina to seven points in its 37-7 win on Friday.
“All in all, I thought we bent but we never broke, defensively,” coach Jamie Nickles said.
Panthers kicker Dylan Beauford knocked in a 27-yard field goal to go up 16-0 before halftime. T.J. Rogers tallied 204 rushing yards on 12 carries, sealing Abbeville’s opening drive of the second half with a 13-yard touchdown run. Later in the third quarter, Rogers wove through each level of Mid-Carolina’s defense, beating Rebels to the outside before cutting inside and sidestepping another defender for a 55-yard touchdown run.
Add in quarterback Jamie Gray’s 53-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Jackson, and the Panthers had scored 37 unanswered points before the Rebels snuck in seven points in the fourth quarter.
Nickles said the Panthers must play better in space, as Rebels quarterbacks Cade Ruff and Chris Boyd were able to find open pockets and connect with several receivers. But overall, the defense holding the Rebels when it counted was appreciated by teammates.
“They’ve been doing what they do best,” Jackson said. “Stopping people.”
Follow Sarah K. Spencer on Twitter @sarah_k_spence
Abbeville 13 3 21 0
Mid-Carolina 0 0 0 7
A — Cortney Jackson 3 run (Dylan Beauford kick)
A — Jackson 7 run (Beauford kick no good)
A — Beauford 27-yard field goal
A — T.J. Rogers 13 run (Beauford kick)
A — Jamie Gray 15 pass to Bryce Jackson (Beauford kick)
A — Rogers 55 run (Beauford kick)
M — Chris Boyd 33 pass to Jalen Bates-Caldwell (Taylor Martin kick)
Rushing — A: Rogers 12-204-2, J.R. Rapley 10-80, Jackson 9-52-2, Jermaine Blackwell 5-54, Tyrese Williams 2-7, M: Terrell Long 10-31, Cade Ruff 14-41
Receiving — A: Jackson 4-94-1, Rogers 1-20, Rapley 1-11, M: Jalen Bates-Caldwell 9-72, Mason Hawkins 1-42, Jack Edwards 3-34, Iyon Thompson 3-19, Tre Sims 1-5, Long 2-6
Passing — A: Jamie Gray 6-11-125-0-1, M: Ruff 18-24-146, Chris Boyd 1-2-33-0-1
Record — Abbeville (5-0-1)
Next — 7:30 p.m. Friday Abbeville at Hartsville