CLOVER — Clover looked poised to pick up its second win of the season when they went ahead of Fort Mill 21-7 late in the first half. But the Yellow Jackets scored the game’s final 28 points to escape with a 35-21 win.
Fort Mill quarterback Rogan Wells and running back Malik Long paced the rally. Wells completed 7 of 9 passes and rushed for three touchdowns, each from inside the 2-yard line. Long ran for 178 yards, over 120 of which came after halftime when the Jackets turned the table on Clover’s clock-running, ball-control offense.
The Blue Eagles opened the game giving the ball to wing back Ladarius Adams for 11 consecutive plays. Clover’s first two possessions each lasted four plays and consumed 60 and 70 yards, respectively. Each also ended with a long touchdown run by Adams.
Adams first 11 plays netted him 156 yards, and he finished with a game high 235 yards. Clover penalties and two turnovers stalled several Blue Eagle drives.
The score was still a one-possession game midway through the fourth period. Clover was moving the ball well, similar to the first quarter, as Adams set up what appeared to be a first-and-goal at the Jackets’ 7, but a personal foul penalty moved the ball back 15 yards, setting up a first and goal from the 22.
The penalty changed the tone of the game, forcing Clover to pass on a second down and long and taking the run-first mentality off the table.
Yellow Jacket defensive back Antonio Dawkins picked off Clover’s second pass attempt of the night and Fort Mill marched 75 yards on the game’s final drive as Wells’ touchdown with under three minutes left sealed the win for the Jackets.
“We really challenged our kids to come out and score right out of the gate in the second half. We decided to move back to a more basic defense, after trying some different sets to combat that double wing. Clover’s offense is very difficult to prepare for in just one week, but our kids responded well and I could not be more proud of them,” said Fort Mill head coach Ed Fusi.
Clover and Fort Mill both return to action next week in rivalry games as the Yellow Jackets host Nation Ford and Clover hosts York.
Fort Mill 35, Clover 21
C – Ladarius Adams 45 run (Adam Edmunds kick)
C- Adams 52 run (Edmunds kick)
FM – Rogan Wells 1 run (Chandler Kryst kick)
C- R.J. Moore 13 run (Edmunds kick)
FM – Malik Long 5 run (Kryst kick)
FM – Wells 1 run (Kryst kick)
FM – Long 12 run (Kryst kick)
FM – Wells 2 run (Kryst Kick)
RUSHING CLOVER: Chase Gallant 4-12, R.J. Moore 4-46, Tanner Whitley 1-0, Scott Jackson 1-3, Ladarius Adams 27-234. FORT MILL: Malik Long 19-178, Kryst 4-20, Wells 12-33, DeRyan Sanders 4-42, Taylor Hemphill 4-41.
PASSING CLOVER: Jackson 0-2-1-0. FORT MILL: Wells 7-9-0-78, Hemphill 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING FORT MILL: Kryst 1-7, Brandon Plyer 2-20, Zach Fowler 2-20, Sanders 1-11, Hemphill 1-20.
RECORDS CLOVER: 1-9,1-5 Region 3-AAAA; FORT MILL 4-6, 2-4.