HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - Gilbert, Dutch Fork roll in 1st round games
The opening round of the Class 3A playoffs saw Gilbert achieve a milestone for head coach Chad Leaphart.
The Indians defeated Lake City 48-12 in the opening round matchup. Colton Mason rushed for 253 yards and 4 touchdowns and quarterback Izayah Whiteside threw for 125 yards and a score to improve the Indians to 7-0 on the season.
Defeating the Panthers in the post-season for the 2nd straight year gave Leaphart his 48th career win. In moving him into 2nd place all-time in school history behind Marty Woolbright, Leaphart remained undefeated at 5-0 in 1st round games.
Gilbert trailed 6-0 in the 1st quarter. On the 2nd play from scrimmage, Lake City running back Cledious Alston burst off the line of scrimmage and sprinted 55 yards for the score.
After the missed 2-point conversion, the Indians answered with 21 unanswered points. On Gilbert's 1st series, a long completion by Whiteside set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Gray Leaphart.
The PAT put Gilbert ahead 7-6. On the next series, Whiteside found Gage Gunter for a 36-yard touchdown to make it 14-6 with 7:03 left in the 1st quarter.
Lake City quarterback Hillshon Bailey was picked off for the 1st time this season by Jerome Johnson. The ball was down at the Panthers' 17, setting up Mason's 1st touchdown from 3 yards with 10:02 left in the 2nd quarter.
Lake City capitalized off short field position for a 10-yard touchdown run by Bailey. The Panthers failed again on the 2-point conversion, leaving the score at 21-12.
Before halftime, Mason scored from 2 yards for his 2nd score to send the Indians into the lockerroom up 28-12.
The Indians took the opening drive of the 2nd half for a score as Mason scored from 9 yards to make it 35-12.
Mason's 4th touchdown from a yard out extended Gilbert's lead to 41-12 after the missed PAT. The Indians' final score came on a 6-yard touchdown run with 1:52 left by Jaden Allen-Hendrix.
Gilbert will now await the winner of Saturday's game between Dillon and Hanahan. A win by the Wildcats would set up a 3rd post-season meeting in 4 years with the Indians in Gilbert.
River Bluff 14, Fort Dorchester 12
The Gators did more than "Hit Them in the Mouth With Discipline".
For the 3rd straight year under head coach C. Blair Hardin, they won their 1st round playoff game. Instead of in The Swamp, River Bluff was victorious on the road against the 2nd ranked Patriots.
An inspired effort by a defense led by Adam Molnar's 10 tackles which collected 3 sacks helped the Gators hold on after taking a 14-0. Riley Myers, who finished with 155 rushing yards, scored on a 9-yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter and Thomas Powell found Jackson Stone for a 30-yard touchdown early in the 2nd quarter.
Fort Dorchester got within 14-6 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Michael Smalls. In the 3rd quarter, Dwayne Wright scored on a 1-yard run.
The Patriots missed the 2-point conversion as well as a potential game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
River Bluff (4-1) travels to Sumter for the 2nd round.
Dutch Fork 42, Summerville 7
The "Drive For 5" opened with another 1st round win for the top-ranked and 4-time defending Class 5A champions and head coach Tom Knotts.
Will Taylor threw for 206 yards and put Dutch Fork (7-0) on the board in the 2nd quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run.
Summerville quarterback Colby Shirley scored on a 82-yard run tie the game.
Dutch Fork proceeded to score 35 unanswered points. Taylor scored on a 9-yard touchdown run with 5:02 left in the 2nd quarter.
Jarvis Green made it 21-7 with a 3-yard touchdown run with 8:04 left in the 3rd quarter. With 4:50 left in the 3rd quarter, Taylor found Elijah Spencer from 31 yards to make it 28-7.
Touchdown runs of 9 yards by Green and 11 by Marcus Taylor in the 4th quarter closed out the scoring for Dutch Fork. It was the 47th straight game without a loss, the 46th straight victory over an in-state team and 21st straight playoff win.
The Silver Foxes also improved to 11-0 under Knotts in 1st round games. They will play host to Carolina Forest next week in a rematch of last year's Class 5A Lower State final.
Pelion 12, Phillip Simmons 7
The 1st home playoff game in 14 years ended in victory for the Panthers.
All of the scoring took place during a 3-minute stretch in the 3rd quarter. The Panthers took a 6-0 lead with 5:40 left, but Phillip Simmons answered on its next series with a score and PAT.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jacob Osmanski returned it for a touchdown.
With the victory, Pelion (4-2) will get to play host to Andrews in the 2nd round.
Irmo 43, Westside 35
The Yellow Jackets overcame an early 15-0 deficit, then a fierce comeback by the 3rd ranked Rams to pull out the victory.
Irmo (4-2) trailed 15-0 when it rallied to take a 28-18 halftime advantage. Westside (5-3) rallied for 17 unanswered points to take a 35-28 lead.
The Yellow Jackets outscored the Rams 15-0 in the 4th quarter to advance to the next round. Up next is the winner of Saturday's game between Catawba Ridge and Greer. A win by Catawba Ridge would give Irmo the home game.
Camden 52, Brookland-Cayce 44
Will Way rushed for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns and Tanner Staton rushed for 2 scores and threw for another for the Bobcats.
Brookland-Cayce trailed as many as 25 points before closing to within a score late in the 4th quarter.
Abbeville 56, Batesburg-Leesville 0
The "Battle of the Panthers" saw top-ranked Abbeville post its 7th shutout of a Palmetto State team this season.
The win also gave Abbeville a 23-21 lead over Batesburg-Leesville in their all-time series.
REGULAR SEASON GAMES
Chapin 41, Mid-Carolina 25
The "Battle of the Bell" will remain in the town of Chapin for another year.
The Eagles (6-2) jumped out to a 21-0 lead. Jaylen Bradford threw 2 touchdowns and rushed for another and Bennett Galloway and Connor Lehmann both rushed for scores.
Offensive lineman Thornton Gentry also caught a touchdown pass.
Spring Valley 30, Lexington 7
DeQuandre Smith threw for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns and Ty'Sean Osby had 6 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown to lead the Vikings (3-4).
Javon Pauldo's 1-yard touchdown run was the long score for the Wildcats (0-6), who suffered their 1st winless season in school history and worst record since 1995.