ROAD WARRIORS - Dutch Fork dominates West Florence to reach Lower State final
Playing a road playoff game for the first time in five years, the Dutch Fork football team did what it’s done the last 17 times away from Irmo.
It quickly made itself at home, this time at Florence Memorial Stadium.
After working out shirtless in the rain and chilly temperatures, the Silver Foxes dominated West Florence 59-14 in the third round of the Class 5A Lower State playoffs.
“I’ve been harping on them about how soft they were,” Knotts said. “Practice in the morning, they were acting like it was freezing cold. I told them my old teams would go out naked. I walked into the lockerroom and they were all half-naked and they ran out without shirts. It was good. It put a smile on my face.
The Dutch Fork faithful who made the trip up Interstate 20 had plenty to cheer throughout the team’s 23rd consecutive overall victory and 11th straight in the post-season. The Silver Foxes jumped out to a 38-0 lead led as running back Ron Huff rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Ty Olenchuk completed 13-23 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
Olenchuk opened the game with a 59-yard touchdown pass to Jailyn Hyatt in the first quarter. Hyatt finished with 6 catches for 145 yards.
Huff added a 4-yard touchdown run on Dutch Fork’s next series. In the second quarter, the Silver Foxes posted 24 points. Olenchuk found Zirke for a 24-yard touchdown and he and Hoff rushed for scores of 3 and 6 yards.
Hoff's score was set up by a 21-yard interception return by Trey Irby. Late in the first half, Ryan Harris caught an interception in the endzone and Dutch Fork used three offensive plays to set up Graham Newbault’s 34-yard field goal to make it 38-0.
West Florence got on the board to open the second half with a 8-yard touchdown run by Ailym Ford. The Silver Foxes answered with a 17-yard touchdown run by Hoff.
In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Graesem Underwood erupted for two scores and 132 rushing yards to put Dutch Fork over the 50-point plateau for the 11th time this season.
The Silver Foxes have outscored their opponents 664-97 this season. They now head to the Lower State final for the third straight year and will travel to Summerville.
“I’m sure Summerville will be chomping at the bit to get us,” Knotts said. “We’ve knocked them out the last couple of years and I guess we’ve got to go down there. So, itshould be a great game. They’ve got a great quarterback and a solid football team.”