State high school football championship recap, by Tyler Cupp
By Tyler Cupp
Dutch Fork does it again. Back to back state championships in high school football. Here’s how it went down.
First off, this was a really good game, with one of the better finishes you’ll see in state title game. Dorman went for two and the win but was denied in the end by the Silver Foxes.
I totally get it, though. It’s the last game of the year. You can’t hold back, and when you know the team has left it all out on the field, you go for it all. So why not go for 2 and the win?
That was the decision that Dorman Cavalier Coach Dave Gutshall went with on Saturday in the 5A State Championship. Having just scored to make the game 28-27 with :19 seconds remaining on the clock, the Cavs went for the win rather than sending it into overtime. The media certainly loved the drama in the press box, but it was a tough result for Doman fans. The Dutch Fork defense stood tall, stuffing the running back who caught a short screen pass and Ryan Hall took him down at the one yard line.
Its the 3rd state title in the Tom Knotts era for Dutch Fork, having won last year then again back in 2013. As for the opposing coach, Dave Gutshall had a team that fought back and forth as both teams exchanged touchdowns all through the second half. Dorman only led once, and that was late in the first quarter as Tylen Fowler recovered a fumble off a bad snap and took it 51 yards for the score. The first half however, belonged to Dutch fork running back Ron Hoff who carried it 19 times for 139 yards and 2 scores in the first 24 minutes putting DF out to a 14-7 lead.
Hoff would only run for 29 more yards in final two quarters. That was mainly due to Knotts involving his do it all weapon, and best player Bryce Thompson as he ran for for 2 more scores later in the game, a 72 yarder and a 25 yard touchdown, the latter coming out of the wildcat formation. The first touchdown by Bryce capped a 99 yard drive. But Dorman would not go away. Led by Quarterback Ben Batson, the Cavs would provide a left punch, every time DF landed a hook. Batson continuously kept drives alive on the ground rushing for 136 yards on 12 carries. What made the game just as thrilling was the fact that Dorman could have tied the game much earlier, when it was still 28-21 Dutch Fork made a goal line stand with about 4 minutes left denying a score. However, the Dorman defense did their job forcing a three and out and got solid field position around midfield for one final drive. After getting the ball back, Batson threw the 2 yard touchdown pass to get the game within one point, before Dorman would go for the two point conversion after a few timeouts.
-Ron Hoff has rushed for 216 yards on 36 carries and 4 Touchdowns in the last 2 state title games. This young man has a chance to be special as he is just a sophomore.
-Since a 49-19 loss to Dorman in the second round of the 2015 playoff, the Silver Foxes are 28-1 having won 10 straight postseason games. And the one loss in that span came of course against Fort Dorchester, which they later avenged two weeks ago. So, the two teams that have handed DF defeats in that time, have gone on to lose to them in postseason competition. (Both stats provided by Thomas Grant)
-Dutch Fork was 2-2 in the red zone while Dorman was 3 for 4 in that category. Some could say that may or may not was the difference but the Cavs still had a chance to win it, or tie it in the end.
-Dutch Fork ran 61 plays for 445 yards as opposed to 54 plays and 381 for Dorman.
-Alex Smith was the leading tackler for the Silver Foxes as he had 13 total. Hugh Ryan had 2 tackles for loss.
WEEKEND OF CHAMPIONS RECAP
-Also on Saturday, Dillon capped a perfect season by going 15-0 and defeated Chapman for the 3A state title. This was a rematch of last years game where Chapman won in 2016 The 55-27 win for the Wildcats is now the 5th title in 6 years for them. And it also gives hall of fame coach Jackie Hayes his 7th overall, which puts him second all time in South Carolina. Dillon lost last. Tyquan Porter had 3 total touchdowns in the win, with two of those coming on defense.
-South Pointe won its 4th straight title in the 4A game beating up on Hartsville 38-14. The Stallions become just the sixth team in state history to win four straight. Three of the four championships have come against Hartsville, and they won them by at least two scores. Clemson commit Derion Kendrick was electric throwing for three touchdowns while running for another in the win.
-Then on Friday, it was Abbeville winning in 2A over Bamberg-Ehrhardt 14-7 for title number 9 and the third in a row as well.
-In Class A Lamar knocked off Baptist Hill 72-46. Its the fifth title for Lamar. The 74 points scored were the most in state championship history. The two teams also combined for the most in history of SC with 97. That broke the mark set by Stratford and Northwestern back in 2013.