FORT MILL — Nation Ford took advantage of Lancaster’s five first half turnovers and won in a 42-19 rout.
Senior quarterback Dalton Helms passed for 358 yards – 232 of which came in the first half – and six touchdowns, going 22-35 from under center.
Both teams struggled with turnovers, as Nation Ford had five as well, two on fumbles.
“We had missed opportunities in the first half,” said Falcons coach Michael Allen. “But we did some good things and our defense played their tail off. We came out with some good energy.”
The Bruins came out in the third quarter to open things up and picked up four first downs, but had two costly penalties that booted them out of the red zone. Lancaster even had a Jay Hood touchdown called back on the drive. Nation Ford got an interception on the next play to kill the drive. It was Lancaster’s sixth turnover of the game.
Nation Ford took advantage of the interception and Helms hit Brandon Cureton on a 56-yard touchdown strike to extend the Falcons’ lead on just a four play drive.
Despite getting a deep start in its own territory on its second series of the second half, Nation Ford went 77 yards as Helms connected with Riley Hilton for a third touchdown of the game for the duo on a dozen plays.
The Bruins caught Nation Ford off guard to start the fourth quarter as Keedarius Truesdale and Hood connected for their second touchdown of the game, this one on a 48 yard pass.
Lancaster got on the board to start the second quarter, getting past the Falcons’ defense as Truesdale hit Hood for a 28 yard pass, taking advantage of an earlier Helms interception.
Nation Ford fumbled on its first play in the second quarter giving the ball right back to Lancaster in Falcons’ territory.
After a forced punt by the Falcons’ defense, Nation Ford fumbled the ball again on the punt returning the ball back to Lancaster at the Falcons’ 18-yard line. However, Lancaster fumbled and gave the ball right back to Nation Ford as Falcons defensive back Justin Ettell returned the ball back to the 20. However, Nation Ford failed to score and were stopped just short of the end zone on a fake field goal.
Lancaster had one big play as Truesdale hit Hood for a 26 yard gain on its next drive, but the Bruins again coughed up the ball, giving it back to Nation Ford at the 27-yard line. Helms hit Hilton two plays later for their second touchdown to extend the Falcons’ lead as they would go up 21-6.
After another Lancaster turnover, Helms connected with Josh Shade on the next drive for a 38-yard score with 4:37 left in the first half.
Nation Ford took advantage of the Lancaster secondary early, as Helms completed passes of nearly 25 yards each on his first two plays of the game.
Lancaster failed to move the ball on its first drive of the game and was forced to punt, giving Nation Ford great starting position at the Bruins 28-yard line. Nation Ford was able to punch it in this time around as Helms hit Marques Coleman on a little out pass for a 16 yard score.
Another defensive stop by Nation Ford allowed them to come out firing on its third drive. Helms hit Cureton on a 53 yard pass to put it inside the 10-yard line of the Bruins and two plays later, Helms hit Hilton for the Falcons’ second score of the game.
On Lancaster’s next drive, senior Michael Allen picked off a Bruins pass, but Nation Ford gave it right back as the Bruins’ caught a Falcons’ deflection intercepting Helms.
Joy Quick won homecoming queen for Nation Ford at halftime. The maid of honor was Carly Williams.
Nation Ford 42, Lancaster 19
NF – Dalton Helms to Marques Coleman 16-yard pass (Caleb Bruckner kick)
NF – Helms to Riley Hilton eight-yard pass (Bruckner kick)
L – Keedarius Truesdale 28-yard pass to Jay Hood (kick blocked)
NF – Helms to Hilton five-yard pass (Bruckner kick)
NF – Helms to Josh Shade 38-yard pass (Bruckner kick)
NF – Helms to Brandon Cureton 56-yard pass (Bruckner kick)
NF – Helms to Hilton four-yard pass (Bruckner kick)
L – Truesdale 48-yard pass to Hood (Trevor Latham kick)
L – Truesdale four-yard run (kick blocked)
RUSHING Lancaster: Keedarius Truesdale 13-43, Kadarius Wright 15-36, Tajh Mack 2-9. Nation Ford: Marques Coleman 7-5, Dalton Helms 5-11, Andrew Bruce 2-4, Michael Allen 1-2, Tevin Ramirez 6-12, Cole Martin 2-(-1).
PASSING Lancaster: Keedarius Truesdale 16-22-4 228. Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 22-35-2 358, Cole Martin 2-3-1 19.
RECEIVING Lancaster: Jay Hood 9-142, Kadarius Wright 3-22, Austin Franceschelli 2-25, Alex Ealy 2-39. Nation Ford: Riley Hilton 7-37, Colt Taylor 1-7, Josh Shade 3-78, Brandon Cureton 7-187, Spencer Pecarro 2-26, Marques Coleman 3-25, Ervin Lassiter 1-17.
RECORDS Lancaster 2-4, 0-2 Region III-AAAA; Nation Ford 5-1, 2-0 Region III-AAAA.