FORT MILL — After losing 18 straight games, the Lugoff-Elgin Demons were looking for any small glimmer of a break. They looked in the wrong place as the Nation Ford Falcons pummeled them 45-14.
The Falcons, led by senior quarterback Dalton Helms and senior receiver Brandon Cureton, improved to 2-1. Helms and Cureton combined for two touchdowns as Cureton caught five passes for 142 yards. Helms threw for 331 yards on 16 of 22 passing.
Nation Ford put the game away in the fourth quarter as Helms and Cureton connected for their second touchdown after the Falcons were called for a chop block that backed them up to their own 32-yard line earlier in the drive. Nevertheless, Helms put together big throws to get the Falcons out of the hole and in position for the eventual score.
“We asked the guys to play with more energy,” said Falcons head coach Michael Allen. “We concentrated on playing football. Our kids did a good job of getting back to basics.”
The Falcons added another score in the fourth after senior punter Riley Hilton pinned Lugoff-Elgin at its one-yard line. From there, junior linebacker Grant Brewington recovered a fumble in the end zone to add insult to injury for the Demons.
A big punt return in the third quarter gave Lugoff-Elgin the ball at the Falcons’ 22-yard line. Demons quarterback Shon Belton would move the ball into the red zone and then completed just his fourth pass of the game to tight end Elliott Campbell for a six-yard touchdown.
Lugoff-Elgin crossed midfield on its first series in the second quarter after Nation Ford was forced to punt on a three and out to start the period.
The Demons’ running game seemed to work better in bunches, as Belton and junior Daniel Quattlebaum would do the majority of work for Lugoff-Elgin on the drive and in the game.
Belton seemed to find little holes in the Falcons’ line and even hit Quattlebaum for a 17-yard pass, the team’s longest of the game at that point. Belton also put a 12-yard run together to get the Demons deep into the red zone, but called two time outs to work on its game plan.
Whatever Demons’ head coach Scott Jones called, worked because Belton ran in from five yards out three plays later to cap off a 12-play, 57-yard drive.
The long drive gave Nation Ford’s offense enough time to rest because the Falcons again came out throwing the ball, scoring in just three plays, going 63 yards as Helms completed passes of 18, 17 and 28 yards, the last one going to Cureton for the score to extend the Falcons’ lead.
Nation Ford got the ball back with about two minutes to go and was able to go 42 yards to score again, this time off the foot of freshman kicker Lexi Dressing, who booted a 25-yard field goal.
The Falcons weren’t through scoring before the half as they put the dagger through the heart of the Demons as Helms hit Cureton for a 47-yard pass and then two plays later hit Hilton for a seven-yard touchdown as time expired on the clock to send Nation Ford into the half leading 31-7.
In the first quarter, Nation Ford wasted no time scoring after an opening play penalty to start the game, the Falcons went 80-yards in five plays as senior Marcus Coleman rushed the ball in from 15-yards out after Helms and Hilton connected for a 60-yard pass that got them into the red zone.
The Falcons continued to move the ball on its second series of the game with the big help of a 15-yard penalty from Lugoff-Elgin. Helms connected with junior Colt Taylor for an 18-yard pass and then Hilton for a 15-yard pass, before he ran for a 15-yard scramble to get within the five-yard line of the Demons. Helms would then take it in two plays later to put Nation Ford up 14-0.
Nation Ford 45, Lugoff-Elgin 14
Lugoff-Elgin 0;7;7;0 - 14
Nation Ford 14;17;0;14 -45
NF – Marcus Coleman 15-yard run (Lexi Dressing kick)
NF – Dalton Helms three-yard run (Dressing kick)
LE – Shon Belton five-yard run (Andrew Place kick )
NF – Helms to Brandon Cureton 28-yard pass (Dressing kick)
NF – Dressing 25-yard field goal
NF – Helms to Riley Hilton seven-yard pass (Dressing kick)
LE – Belton to Elliott Campbell six-yard pass (Place kick)
NF – Helms to Cureton 37-yard pass (Dressing kick)
NF – Grant Brewington fumble recovery in end zone (Dressing kick)
RUSHING Lugoff-Elgin: Daniel Quattlebaum 4-23, Shon Belton 21-144, Neely Pearsall 1-(-4), Aldreacio Wells 11-3, Jermaine Jenkins 1-(-1). Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 9-19, Andrew Barr 9-57, Marcus Coleman 3-40, Keshawn McClure 1-4, Tevin Ramirez 2-3, Cole Martin 1-(-8).
PASSING VISITOR: Shon Belton 9-27-0 120. Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 16-22-0 331.
RECEIVING Lugoff-Elgin: Kevin Fields 2-11, Daniel Quattlebaum 6-103, Elliott Campbell 1-6. Nation Ford: Josh Shade 1-(-1), Riley Hilton 4-97, Colt Taylor 4-45, Brandon Cureton 5-142, Marcus Coleman 1-17, Andrew Barr 1-31 .
RECORDS Lugoff-Elgin 0-2; Nation Ford 2-1.