FORT MILL — Talk about an instant classic.
A crucial fumble by Nation Ford while facing a third and six in overtime gave Fort Mill the 28-21 win, leaving the Falcons still winless against their cross-town rival.
“They hung in there,” said Fort Mill head coach Ed Susi. “We fought back. Nation Ford is one heck of a team. I can’t say enough about what these guys did.”
Fort Mill had the ball on the first series of overtime from the 10 yard-line and after the Falcons were flagged for being offside, junior Deryan Sanders scored form four yards out to give the Jackets the lead.
When it was Nation Ford’s turn form the 10, the Jackets’ defense stepped up again and stopped the Falcons as they fumbled on third down and then threw an incomplete pass on fourth and 14.
“We have got to shake this off quickly,” said Nation Ford head coach Michael Allen. “[Fort Mill] earned it fair and square.”
Both teams should make the playoffs next week, but just which seed they will be won’t be determined until this weekend.
Fort Mill was led by senior quarterback Rylan Wells, who used both his feet and his arm as he threw for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 12-14 passing and ran for 71 yards. Sanders aided the Jackets as well as he rushed for 78 on 18 carries.
In the fourth quarter, Nation Ford got a crucial pass interference call with about 90 seconds left to get a first and goal from the 10-yard line. Senior Daniel Jackson then took the ball down to the one with about 45 seconds left as Allen called a time out.
After the timeout the ball went to 6’4” 240-pound senior Kenny Settle, who pounded his way into the end zone to tie the game at 21-21 with 39 seconds left.
Fort Mill came out in the third quarter with the ball and wasted no time in moving the ball.
The drive took up almost half of the quarter, but an off-sides call stalled the drive for the Jackets as they had to settle for a 39-yard field goal attempt which went wide right.
Fort Mill’s defense held Nation Ford on its first series and quickly got the ball back. The Falcons’ defense had no answers for the Jackets’ attack as Fort Mill kept the ball on the ground time after time.
The Jackets’ second drive moved them from the third quarter into the fourth as they faced a first down to start the final period at the Nation Ford 39-yard line.
Fort Mill soon did something they hadn’t done too often in the game – pass the ball, as Wells hit Sanders for a 27-yard touchdown to cap a 16-play drive and put the Jackets up by two scores.
However, just when Fort Mill thought it had the Falcons right where it wanted them, the Falcons bounced back and scored as junior quarterback Dalton Helms hit senior Dijuan Ussery for a 28-yard score to make a game of it.
Defense was the name of the game in the first quarter as the teams each other out of the red zone.
In the second quarter, however, both teams’ offense got into the swing of things. On the second play of the second quarter, Wells hit senior Josh Lafoe on a 29-yard pass – just his third of the game – over the middle in the back of the end zone to put Fort Mill on top early. The scoring drive for the Jackets went eight plays and 62 yards.
Nation Ford came right back and marched the ball down the field, again pounding the ball mostly on the ground as Jackson did most of the work getting 34 of the 69 yards before scoring on an eight-yard run to cap off a 12-play drive.
Right before the end of the half, Fort Mill again scored to take the lead this time with Wells going 57 yards and throwing to a tight end Mason Jordan, who caught his first pass of the year, scoring with just six seconds left.
Wells hit Lafoe on a couple of occasions on the drive to pick up a couple first downs to keep the dive alive. Wells also took the ball into his own hands and ran the ball on 13-yard scamper to get his team to the six-yard line before Jordan scored on the next play.
Nation Ford moved the ball well on its first drive until a bad snap caused the Falcons to lose about 20 yards. The Falcons were forced to punt soon after.
Fort Mill moved the ball on its first series by eating up the clock and keeping it on the ground, throwing just two passes. The Falcons’ defense was able to hold them as they too were forced to punt.
For video clips of the game, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RHTIGgaX00
Fort Mill 28, Nation Ford 21 OT
FM – Rylan Wells 29-yard pass to Josh Lafoe (Wells kick)
NF – Daniel Jackson eight-yard run (Corey Condron kick)
FM – Wells six-yard pass to Mason Jordan (Wells kick)
FM – Wells 27-yard pass to Deryan Sanders (Wells kick)
NF – Dalton Helms 28-yard pass to Dijuan Ussery (Condron kick)
NF – Kenny Settle one-yard run (Condron kick)
FM – Deryan Sanders four-yard run (Wells kick)
|Rushes – yards||38-129||48-180|
|Comp. – Att. – Int.||9-18-0||12-15-0|
|Fumbles – lost||2-0||1-0|
|Penalties – yards||1-5||6-33|
Rushing – Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 22-71, Breshon Simpson 5-20, Deryan Sanders 18-78, Malik Long 3-11.
Nation Ford: Daniel Jackson 26-103, Dalton Helms 8-32, Andrew Barr 2-11, Kenny Settle 1-1, Team 1-(-18).
Passing – Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 12-14-0 152, Breshon Simpson 0-1-0 0.
Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 9-17-0 95, AK McCoy 0-1-0 0.
Receiving – Fort Mill: Josh Lafoe 4-60, Deryan Sanders 3-45, Malik Long 1-23, Brandon Plyer 1-7, Mason Jordan 1-6, Breshon Simpson 2-9.
Nation Ford: AK McCoy 1-23, Dijuan Ussery 4-44, Andrew Barr 1-(-1), Riley Hilton 2-23, Hank Tuipulotu 1-6.
Records: Fort Mill 7-4, 4-3 Region III-AAAA; Nation Ford 7-4, 4-3 Region III-AAAA.