FORT MILL — Nothing like a rivalry game on Family Night, especially in a community where a lot of rivals and families know each other so well.
The top-ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets played host to crosstown rival and 13th-ranked Nation Ford Falcons at Bob Jones Stadium on Easter Monday and dominated. The Yellow Jackets won 4-1.
We played well to start with, said Fort Mill coach Lloyd Chalker. It was a good win. We did what we had to do. I think we came out and played better in the second half.
Ranked 21st in the nation by ESPN, the Yellow Jackets (11-1) came in controlling the competition in recent weeks, while Nation Ford had been struggling, having dropped below .500 with three straight losses.
Fort Mill showed why it is number one in AAA as it scored four minutes into the game. Junior Jason Hirsch hit University of Pittsburgh commit Kevin Fielden for the opening goal of the game.
Three minutes later, Fielden returned the favor on a free-kick as he hit sophomore William Hughes for a header to put Fort Mill up 2-0.
Both schools were returning from spring break, something that affected Elton Rameys Nation Ford squad.
The week took us off our game plan, Ramey said. When you give up two goals right away, it hard to come back from that. I think we started to play better, but spring break makes it hard to plan for things like this.
After the initial shock to Nation Ford of two quick goals, both teams seemed to settle down as the game became more of a defensive contest for each school.
Nation Ford tried to capitalize on several throw-ins, but the Jackets defense crowded the box to make it harder for the Falcons to get a shot on goal.
Fort Mill also had more opportunities as it took shots at Nation Ford keeper Josh Bruckner, who held strong getting three key saves to keep the Falcons in the game during the first half.
Confident in its game plan, Fort Mill traded out keepers in the second half, putting in freshman Randall Phillips.
Fort Mill controlled the pace early in the second half and continued to take shots at Nation Fords defense, but couldnt crack it.
Fort Mill finally found a crack in the Falcons defense midway through the second half as sophomore Ross Lordo fed senior Corey Hnat with a pass down the middle of the field. Hnat put the ball in the back of the net to give the Jackets a commanding 3-0 lead.
After the first goal of the second half, the Jackets found the key to squeeze their offense through holes that Nation Ford opened for them.
Another breakaway led to Lordo scoring with the assist coming from senior Stephen Nall.
Nation Ford got on the board toward the end of the game as junior midfielder Austin Voss headed the ball in goal following a throw-in.
Fort Mill 4, Nation Ford 1
FM Kevin Fielden, 4:00
FM William Hughes, 7:11
FM Corey Hnat, 62:10
FM Ross Lordo, 65:14
NF Austin Voss, 70:32
Saves Josh Bruckner (NF) 10; Mason Jackson (FM) 1, Randall Phillips (FM) 1.
Shots on goal Nation Ford 7, Fort Mill 12.
Corner kicks Nation Ford 2, Fort Mill 2.
Records: Nation Ford 4-6-0, 2-1 Region IV-AAA; Fort Mill 11-1-0, 4-0 Region IV-AAA.