CHESTER — It's a hole Fort Mill might not be able to climb out of, as it drops to 0-2 in Region IV-AAA with a 21-14 loss to Chester.
The loss puts Fort Mill, which is seeking a playoff berth for the second straight season, in a poor situation with three regular-season games left.
"We have got to get over the hump," said Fort Mill coach Ed Susi. "We are making mistakes at key times. We are better than we show.
"It's just time to start winning these. It's time to finish games."
On the other hand, the win for Chester puts it at 1-1 and in good position for a playoff spot.
"We were able to hold on and made some good plays," said Chester coach Anthony Sterling. "We knew they weren't fundamentally sound up front, so we stuck to our ground game. We saw some things on film and made the adjustments."
The game came down to who played better in the fourth quarter.
Chester opened the fourth quarter by scoring two plays into the final period as freshman quarterback Tommy Sanders hit senior receiver Emery Fredrick for a 36-yard touchdown.
Fort Mill came back to score and stay in the game, as senior Nick Raszeja gave a John Riggins-like performance for the Jackets throughout the game.
After a defensive stop by Fort Mill, Chester gave the ball back to the Jackets at the Cyclones' 49 with about five minutes left in the game.
Fort Mill made it to the 25-yard line, but senior quarterback Preston Fry was picked off by junior Jamarcus Moore with about two minutes left to seal the game for Chester.
The Jackets recovered an on-side kick to open the second half, which gave Fort Mill good field position to start the third quarter.
Fort Mill then kept the ball on the ground as Raszeja did the majority of the work to get the Jackets into scoring position before Fry would run the ball in.
Fort Mill's defense gave up two big plays for Chester scores. The Jackets were led by Kevin Woods on defense and aided by Jordan Loy and Chris Neely as they stalked Sanders in the backfield for the majority of the first half.
In the second quarter, the Jackets put together a big drive to get to the Chester seven-yard line and looked as if they were going to score, but Fry was picked off in the end zone by Chester's K.J. Dixon.
Chester made the most of the pick, as it put together a 97-yard drive in just over a minute, capped off by a 63-yard pass from Sanders to Moore for a touchdown to put the Cyclones up by two scores heading into the half.
FORT MILL 14
C - Derrell Rambert 37-yard run (Joey Ford kick)
C - Tommy Sanders to Jamarcus Moore 63-yard pass (Ford kick)
FM - Preston Fry 12-yard run (Rylan Wells kick)
C - Sanders to Emery Fredrick 36-yard pass (Ford kick)
FM - Nick Raszeja one-yard run (Wells kick)
Rushes - yards
Comp. - Att. - Int.
Fumbles - lost
Penalties - yards
Rushing - Fort Mill: Preston Fry 9-39, Nick Raszeja 25-109, Rylan Wells 5-51, Deryan Sanders 3-11, Tony Godbolt 1-1.
Chester: K.J. Dixon 10-118, Adrian Buchanan 5-13, Derrell Rambert 18-107, Tony Wright 1-5, Tommy Sanders 10-22, Jamarcus Moore 2-(-3), Broderick Roscoe 1-(-1), Lorenzo White 2-14.
Passing - Fort Mill: Preston Fry 5-15-2 62, Rylan Wells 0-1-0 0.
Chester: Tommy Sanders 9-11-0 157.
Receiving - Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 1-8, Nick Raszeja 1-5, Deryan Sanders 2-16, Garrett Ray 1-33.
Chester: Quan Caldwell 2-4, Derrell Rambert 1-21, Jamarcus Moore 1-63, Melvin Jackson 2-27, Emery Fredrick 3-42.
Records: Fort Mill 3-4 (0-2 Region IV-AAA), Chester 5-2 (1-1 Region IV-AAA).