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Generals hope to ride momentum of first victory against Carolina

By J. SCOTT SEWELL
jscott@theitem.com
Posted 9/27/19

Thomas Sumter Academy's varsity football team picked up its first victory of the season last Friday in a dramatic 27-26 home contest against Charleston Collegiate.

Ayden Allen racked up 28 carries for 294 yards and four touchdowns en route to …

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Generals hope to ride momentum of first victory against Carolina

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Thomas Sumter Academy's varsity football team picked up its first victory of the season last Friday in a dramatic 27-26 home contest against Charleston Collegiate.

Ayden Allen racked up 28 carries for 294 yards and four touchdowns en route to earning The Sumter Item Offensive Player of the Week award.

"Ayden has progressed a lot," said Thomas Sumter Academy head coach Randy Stogner. "He's just a sophomore, and he runs well. He's learning how to avoid tackles and uses his body a little better out in open space."

The Generals struck first, early in the first quarter, when Allen ran 70 yards to paydirt to put TSA ahead 6-0. Unfortunately, Charleston Collegiate returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown of their own to tie the game 6-6.

"We worked hard on special teams this week because our kickoff coverage kinda let us down right after we scored," said Stogner.

Allen added his second touchdown of the game in the second quarter, but the Sun Devils answered again, this time on a 40-yard rushing touchdown. Charleston Collegiate failed on their 2-point conversion, and the Generals held a slim 13-12 lead heading into halftime.

"We changed our blocking scheme at halftime to try to give Allen a better chance on some angles," said Stogner. "We managed to block the point of attack pretty good, and he just got on the edge and outran some people several times."

The teams went back and forth again in the third quarter, exchanging touchdowns and successful 2-point conversion attempts and then nearly repeated the pattern in the fourth quarter.

Allen notched his fourth score of the game on a 1-yard rushing touchdown, but the Generals missed an extra point that would've given them an 8-point lead. The Sun Devils marched down the field and scored with just 1:30 left remaining in the game and then elected to go for the win by attempting a 2-point conversion.

TSA defensive lineman Phillip Carino came up with the game-saving sack of the Charleston Collegiate quarterback to prevent the 2-point conversion and seal the win.

"The kids blocked better, they ran the ball hard, and we played pretty good defensively," said Stogner. "We were able to keep them in check defensively".

Next up for the Generals is a difficult road matchup against undefeated Carolina Academy on Friday night.

"They've got a strong run game, and they throw the ball enough to keep you honest," said Stogner. "We're kinda looking at a different game plan. If we can slow the run game down and score, then I feel like we have a shot at beating them, but they're a really good football team."