GREENWOOD — Herald correspondent
Facing a daunting task ahead of them playing the No. 2 team in the state, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets had their hands full with the undefeated Greenwood Eagles Friday night in the opening round of the 4A Division II playoffs.
Fort Mill hadn’t won a playoff game since 1998 and were back in the playoffs for the first time in two years. They certainly didn’t get an easy draw as Greenwood dominated, winning 42-7.
The Eagles showed why they were ranked second in the state as they scored 21 points in the second quarter, pounding the ball on the ground as senior quarterback Evin Sims collected 139 yards on eight carries in the first half and scored three of the four first half touchdowns.
“You can’t make mistakes against these guys,” said Fort Mill coach Ed Susi. “We lost to a good team. You have to finish drives. We just didn’t finish.”
Fort Mill senior Rylan Wells did well at times, but wasn’t given a lot of time to do much in the pocket. Wells went 7-9 for 84 yards in the first half, but didn’t play in the second half because he was suffering from headaches.
Another bright spot for the Jackets was the play of junior Deryan Sanders, who rushed for 53 yards on 13 carries.
Trailing 7-0, the Jackets controlled the clock and the ball for the first four minutes of the second quarter, but a big 17-yard penalty stalled their momentum and pushed them back across midfield to face a fourth and 24 and they had to punt.
Greenwood got the ball back at its 27-yard line and on the first play Sims took off around the right side for a 73-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up by two scores.
The Eagles’ defense finally figured out Fort Mill’s schemes and held the Jackets to just six yards on their next drive, forcing another punt.
Greenwood got a good start about midway through the second quarter as the Eagles started at Fort Mill’s 35-yard line with a 15-yard penalty on the punt.
Fort Mill’s defense then backed the Eagles back across the 50, but a 38-yard pass from Sims to sophomore Markevious Adams to put them near the 10-yard line. Two plays later, senior David Davis powered the ball in from four-yards out.
Right before the half, Greenwood got the ball back at the 50 after a Jackets punt. After two failed pass attempts by the Eagles, Sims had enough and took off around the left side for another lengthy touchdown.
Greenwood didn’t take its foot off the gas, scoring on the third play of the second half as junior Octavious Morgan reached the end zone on an 84-yard run.
Midway through the third quarter, the Eagles scored again as Davis crossed the plane of the end zone on a three-yard run after Greenwood picked up four straight first downs going 58-yards in eight plays.
Fort Mill did score in the fourth quarter as sophomore Breshon Simpson, playing quarterback in Wells’ place, hit senior Josh Lafoe for a 69-yard touchdown to prevent the shutout with a little over a minute left in the game. Lafoe caught three passes for 91 yards.
Fort Mill fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, giving the ball back to the Eagles at their 20-yard line. The Jackets’ defense held and forced Greenwood to attempt a 39-yard field goal, which missed.
Fort Mill controlled the clocked and moved the ball well in the first quarter on their second series as they picked up several first downs as Wells had first down passes to sophomore Brandon Plyer, Sanders and Lafoe. Wells completed four of his first five passes.
After the drive stalled at the 25-yard line, Fort Mill had to attempt a 42-yard field goal which was blocked.
Greenwood’s offense started talking off huge chunks of yards on their next drive. Starting at their own 20, the Eagles moved the ball by running it on all nine plays before Sims scored from one-yard out. The total drive took just over three minutes.
Greenwood 42, Fort Mill 7
G – Evin Sims one-yard run (Matt McManis kick)
G – Sims 73-yard run (McManis kick)
G – David Davis four-yard run (McManis kick)
G – Sims 50-yard run (McManis kick)
G – Octavious Morgan 84-yard run (McManis kick)
G – Davis three-yard run (Jon Hollingsworth kick)
FM – Breshon Simpson to Josh Lafoe 69-yard pass (Taylor Sheets kick)
Rushes – yards;38-408;34-74
Fumbles – lost;1-0;1-1
Penalties – yards;3-18;4-42
Rushing – Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 8-(-5), Deryan Sanders 13-53, Breshon Simpson 6-(-1), Chandler Kryst 2-12, Malik Long 5-15.
Greenwood: David Davis 6-28, Brandon Ashford 3-11, Evin Sims 8-139, Octavious Morgan 5-127, Larenzo Mathis 6-50, DJ Wright 3-19, Aaron Wardlaw 3-19, Thomas Turner 2-6.
Passing – Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 7-9-0 84, Breshon Simpson 1-3-0 69.
Greenwood: Evin Sims 2-6-0 43, Thomas Turner 0-1-0 0.
Receiving – Fort Mill: Josh Lafoe 3-91, Brandon Plyer 2-26, Deryan Sanders 3-36.
Greenwood: Markevious Adams 2-43.
Records: Fort Mill 7-5, Greenwood 12-0.