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  • Starkes Irmo
    (THOMAS GRANT JR. | CHRONICLE) Irmo's Dedrick Starkes with the carry against Lower Richland.
  • Williams Irmo
    (THOMAS GRANT JR. | CHRONICLE) Irmo quarterback Dylan Williams with the run.
  • Irmo Brand
    Irmo head coach Aaron Brand - Thomas Grant, Jr. photo
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    Irmo Yellow Jackets take the field - Thomas Grant, Jr. photo

Williams, Starkes rally Irmo to victory

A last-minute, covid-19 schedule change enabled the Yellow Jackets to play at home.

Quarterback Dylan Williams and wide receiver/defensive back Dedrick Starkes made the most of it.

They hooked up for 2 2nd half touchdown passes to rally Irmo to a 28-20 victory.

Williams threw for 3 touchdowns in a game head coach Aaron Brand called the best of his career. 

“It’s the quarterback,” Brand said. “The quarterback came over and he wanted to do stuff. He had a plan in his head on how it was going to end and that’s just the leadership that he’s shown the whole year. That leadership doesn’t always result in good play, but he wanted to do things. He wanted to come back and win. He knew we were going to do it. He mentioned that we ought to put Starkes out here and he just went out and made plays.” 

Starkes also had a 3rd quarter interception to stop a Diamond-Hornet scoring drive and saw extra time on offense due to injuries.

Irmo (3-1, 2-1) jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jayon Chambers in the 1st quarter and a 16-yard touchdown pass by Dylan Williams to Shamar Langford in the 2nd quarter.

Lower Richland responded with 20 unanswered points. Jeremy Barney had a 1-yard touchdown run and the Diamond-Hornets added a 2-point conversion to make it 14-8 before halftime.

Irmo fumbled the opening kickoff and the Diamond-Hornets had the football at the 35-yard line.

On 4th and 12, quarterback Robert Adams was intercepted by Starkes.

Lower Richland got the ball back and, facing a fourth down, pulled of a fake punt to set up a 1st down at the 25-yard line. Barney needed just 1 carry to reach the endzone and tie the game with 4:33 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Diamond Hornets took a 20-14 lead with 9:22 left on a 4-yard keeper by Adams. 

Irmo responded with 2 straight touchdowns. Williams lofted a high pass from 28 yards that Starkes snagged while closely defended for the touchdown.

The PAT by Jose Villanueva put the Yellow Jackets up 21-20 with 7:45 left in the game. With 2:42 left, Williams found Starkes again from 12 yards to add to the lead following Villanueva's PAT.

“Starkes was the man,” Brand said. “We lined Starkes up. If he wasn’t a decoy, he was out making the plays. He probably led us in tackles. He had 2 touchdowns receiving. He’s a heck of a player.” 

Lower Richland was stopped on downs and Irmo ran out the remaining 1:28 for the win.

The Yellow Jackets have moved up its home game with Lugoff-Elgin to next week. Lower Richland (0-3, 0-1) will head to WJ Keenan.

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