North Augusta QB Austin Harrell emerges as ’a true leader’ in region-title clinching victory

North Augusta QB Austin Harrell emerges as ’a true leader’ in region-title clinching victory

Taylon Washington of North Augusta, left, tries to break the tackle of Aiken’s Iterrius Johnson at the high school football game between North Augusta and Aiken on October. 23, 2020 in Augusta, Ga. [MIKE ADAMS FOR THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Will Cheney @CheneyAUG

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — A new coach and abbreviated season weren’t enough to slow down North Augusta as the Yellow Jackets cruised past Aiken 42-3 en route to a region title.

Junior quarterback Austin Harrell led the way with four total touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). North Augusta coach Jim Bob Bryant said Harrell had the odds stacked against him early in the season, but he likes the way his signal-caller is progressing.

“He would’ve been a lot better early in the year and if we had spring, if we had seven-on-sevens during the summer, but he’s never really been taught how to read a defense,” Bryant said. “He’s starting to pick it up, and he’s very coachable.”

Harrell keeps it for the score. PAT good.

North Augusta 14, Aiken 0. 3:15 2Q

— Will Cheney (@CheneyAUG) October 24, 2020

Bryant said he puts more pressure on his quarterbacks because the outcome of a given game is often attributed to them, right or wrong.

“I coach our quarterbacks harder than anybody. When you play quarterback and you lose, you get more blame than you deserve. When you win, you get more credit than you deserve,” he said. “He gives all the credit to his teammates and that’s the sign of a true leader.”

Harrell with his second rushing TD of the night, this time from 17 yards out. PAT good.

North Augusta 21, Aiken 0. 1:02 2Q

— Will Cheney (@CheneyAUG) October 24, 2020

North Augusta jumped out to a 28-0 lead before Aiken found the scoreboard with a 17-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Kaden Usry relieved Harrell and threw a touchdown late in the game, with the victory well in-hand.

North Augusta (4-1) still has work to do in order to clinch a No. 1 seed for the SCHSL playoffs. The Yellow Jackets host River Bluff in the regular-season finale next week.

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