It was a frightening homecoming for the South Paulding Spartans as they faced off against the New Manchester Jaguars Friday night.
Unfortunately for South Palling, it was unable to secure a much-needed win and ultimately lost 20-6 against the Jaguars.
The win improves the Jaguars to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in Region 5-AAAAAA while South Paulding dropped to 0-7 and 0-5.
New Manchester will play on the road again next week against Langston Hughes as South Paulding, still searching for their first win of the season, will have their hands full as they attempt to spoil Mays’ homecoming next at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
New Manchester’s running game was too much for the Spartans, as it steam-rolled its way to a victory.
Jaguars coach Myron Terry said he wanted his team to be consistent running the ball coming into this game.
“Even though we ran well last week, we still came up a little short, and we wanted to be dominate on both sides of the ball and get that running game off – which opened up the passing game,” Terry said.
New Manchester senior running back A.J. Taylor, who played his first three years of high school football at Trenton High School in North Carolina, needed just 30 yards to surpass the 2,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
Against the Spartans, he carried the ball 13 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor has 108 carries for 690 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. He’s has rushed for over 100 yards four times this year.
“I’ve put in so much work since my freshman year,” Taylor said. “I just feel accomplished, man. It’s a really good feeling.”
Taylor’s first touchdown was for 60 yards with 8:15 to go in the second quarter to give his team a 7-0 lead. He showed off his breakaway speed for the second time with a 57-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter to put his team up 17-0.
The Jaguars scored their final points in the game on a field goal with 7:45 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
South Paulding managed to score its only points of the game in the fourth quarter with 3:14 left in regulation on a pass from sophomore quarterback Austin Seymour to Jeremiah Austin for 10 yards.