The Thomson-McDuffie 11- to 12-year-old all-stars squeaked out a tough 14-8 victory over the Effingham County all-stars in the Arthur Green Memorial Football Tournament held at Sweetwater Park near Thomson on Nov. 19.
"Yeah, it was a little harder than we expected," Thomson assistant coach Nard D'Antignac said.
In the fist half, defense prevailed as both teams found getting into the end zone impossible. The Thomson team mounted a threat in the first half when Jaborius Parks ran for what appeared to be a touchdown, but the play was called back because of illegal participation.
Effingham County, meanwhile, found moving the ball next to impossible as the Thomson team controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the game. Defensively, Thomson was led by Darious Hester, who made several tackles.
The first points of the game weren't scored until the third quarter when tailback Jalen Johnson scampered around left end on a 20-yard run that put Thomson up 6-0. The 2-point conversion made it an 8-0 game.
Later, Thomson found the end zone again. It followed a turnover by Effingham County on the ensuing kickoff. Just six plays later, fullback Parks blasted up the middle for his second touchdown, increasing Thomson's lead to 14-0.
Effingham County responded, scoring on a 33-yard run around the right end to make it a 14-8 game.
Effingham had an opportunity to win when they recovered an onsides kick at midfield. They were able to move all the way to the Thomson 30 in seven plays. The comeback attempt was thwarted when Johnson intercepted a pass and returned it back to midfield. The Thomson quarterback took a knee to run out the clock and seal their victory.
Members of the team are: Kenterrio Woods, Jalen Johnson, Louis Becerra, Drue Poston, Daivon Randall, Travis Thomas, Billy Youngblood, Eric Moss, Ja'Kalin Lane, Dalton Morris, Darious Hester, Kawann Bell, Markevious Brown, Quentavious Neal, Jordan Sharpe, JayVontae Kendrick, Jabarius Parks, Tracey Jones, Detravious Brinkley, Nizjahlik Dublin, Justin Bradshaw and Hart Parker.