FORT MILL — Coming off its first loss of the season, Fort Mill bounced back Friday night with a 26-21 win over Ridge View.
It was a tale of two halves for Fort Mill, as it led 20-7 at halftime, but struggled in the second half and was outscored 14-6.
At one point in the game, Fort Mill had the ball in the red zone four times and came away with just six points on two field goals. However it was the Jackets defense that forced five turnovers, four of those interceptions, that helped them to win the game.
In the fourth quarter, Ridge View scored with about four and a half minutes left to pull within five points at 26-21 on a three-play drive as senior quarterback Nolan Randolph hit senior Tyric Robinson for a 16-yard score. The play was set up for the Blazers by a bad punt that gave Ridge View the ball at the Fort Mill 21.
Fort Mill held on during the last four minutes, picking up some crucial first downs to keep the ball moving.
We kept fighting and we persevered, said Fort Mill coach Ed Susi. I dont care how we win. That was a great win for us. We have been on them about finishing. Our defense bailed us out. We have lost a lot of games like that. That was a darn good team we beat.
Ridge View came out in the second half and marched all over the Yellow Jackets defense, moving the ball 73 yards in 10 plays, which was aided by a Fort Mill facemask penalty that gave the Blazers a 15-yard gain.
The Blazers junior running back Tevin Adams scored on a four yard run to get Ridge View back in the game at 20-14.
Another good drive by Ridge View got it to the 28-yard line of the Jackets, but senior linebacker Kelly Batt intercepted a Blazers pass and returned it 61-yards to get Fort Mill into the red zone.
After a couple of plays that were negative for the Jackets, Fort Mill had to settle for a 39-yard field goal.
At times, both teams struggled with turnovers in the first half as Fort Mill coughed it up three times, two of which it recovered, as they used the running game to do most of the work.
On the Blazers first drive in the second quarter, Fort Mills Breshon Simpson picked off a Ridge View pass at the Blazers 30 and returned it to the 10 where Fort Mill punched it in two plays later with a five-yard run from junior Deryan Sanders.
Fort Mill gave up big yardage at times against Ridge View as the Blazers moved the ball, mostly on the ground, but the Jackets defense held strong keeping Ridge View out of the red zone.
Both offenses struggled at times, giving up turnovers. After a Fort Mill fumble, senior Tony Godbolt intercepted a Blazers pass and again got the Jackets down to the 5. Despite the good field position, Fort Mill was unable to knock it in, turning the ball over on downs at the one-yard line.
Fort Mill scored just 39 second into the game led by a 45-yard run from sophomore Malik Long on the first play from scrimmage. Aided by two Ridge View penalties, that put the Jackets at the 5, where senior Rylan Wells then ran it in on the next play.
That is where it got interesting. Ridge Views Demario Evans returned the kickoff 90 yards to tie the game and on the ensuing kickoff, Long went 70 yards to put Fort Mill back on top. All that happened within the first 69 second of the game.
Fort Mill 26, Ridge View 21
FM Rylan Wells five-yard run (Wells kick)
RV Demario Evans 90-yard kickoff return (kick good)
FM Malik Long 70-yard kickoff return (Wells kick)
FM Deryan Sanders five-yard run (kick failed)
RV Tevin Adams four-yard run (kick good)
FM Wells 39-yard field goal
FM Wells 36-yard field goal
RV Nolan Randolph 16-yard pass to Tyric Robinson (kick good)
Rushing Ridge View: Nolan Randolph 6-9, Gary Bradshaw 23-164, Tevin Adams 6-22, Mitchell Price 1-9.
Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 19-25, Deryan Sanders 9-46, Tony Godbolt 12-41, Malik Long 5-47, Breshon Simpson 4-52.
Passing Ridge View: Nolan Randolph 11-23-4 93.
Fort Mill: Rylan Wells 4-10-1 90.
Receiving Ridge View: Trevan Howell 7-58, Tyric Robinson 2-19, Mitchell Price 1-10, Tevin Adams 1-6.
Fort Mill: Breshon Simpson 2-31, Josh LaFoe 2-59.
Records: Ridge View 2-1, Fort Mill 2-1.