South Atlanta and Druid Hills combined for 10 turnovers, but a fumble by the Hornets that resulted in a touchdown was the difference Aug. 19 in the season opener for both teams.
With South Atlanta leading 6-0, quarterback Ferris Baughns fumbled after an 8-yard gain, but teammate Jessie Taylor recovered and ran 25 yards for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion gave the Hornets a 14-0 lead with 2:06 to play in the first half and they held on to beat Druid Hills 14-8.
Druid Hills scored on its first possession of the second half but could not take advantage of several South Atlanta turnovers. Damian Whitaker scored on a 55-yard pass play from Noah Thomas with 9:44 to play in the third quarter. A two-point conversion cut the lead to 14-8.
South Atlanta had turnovers on its first three possessions of the second half, and had another in the fourth quarter. Kyle Simmons had two interceptions in the third quarter for Druid Hills. The Red Devils’ defense held the Hornets to 60 yards offense in the second half and one first down.
“Our defense played great,” Druid Hills coach Kip Hall said. “Take away that fluke fumble recovery they had for a touchdown and we win the game.”
But penalties and two second-half turnovers kept the Red Devils’ offense bogged down. Twice the Red Devils' offense took over inside the South Atlanta 40-yard-line but came up empty.
“We’re a young team and we showed how inexperienced we are on offense,” Hall said. “We made too many turnoversa and had too many penalties. This was the first game our quarterback has ever started.”
The Red Devils had one final chance when Baughns fumbled the ball away at the Druid Hills 23 with 2:28 to play in the game. The Red Devils got one first down before Thomas threw an interception with less than a minute to play. South Atlanta ran out the clock to preserve the win.