Whoever gets the first stop. Whoever has the ball last.
Fridays nonleague contest between the Rock Hill Bearcats and Dutch Fork Silver Foxes followed that shootout motif from the outset.
The Silver Foxes were the ones who made the first stop and had the ball last. Dutch Fork (2-1) scored TDs on seven of its first nine possessions in a 49-42 win at District Three Stadium.
Rock Hill (1-2) lost despite monster nights from Josh Erby, who finished 34 of 52 for 406 yards and five TDs, and Jamel Jones, who had 11 catches for 107 yards and three TDs.
(Erby) threw the ball well, Rock Hill coach Joe Montgomery said. He got the ball to the outside receivers, and the inside receivers played well. It seemed like we had 600 yards of offense. The problem is they might have had 700.
Rock Hill actually outgained Dutch Fork 425-358, but the Silver Foxes took advantage of three Bearcats turnovers.
For his part, Erby played a near-perfect first quarter. He finished 8-of-11 passing for 74 yards and added a 22-yard scramble. On Rock Hills first two drives, Erby hit Jones and Jaleel Scott for TD passes of 12 and 11 yards, respectively.
Dutch Fork answered on both accounts. Derek Olenchuk and Trey Gregg each scored rushing TDs, and the second tied the score at 14 with 11:24 left in the second period.
The Bearcats came up empty on a 14-play drive on their next possession, the only defensive stop of the half. Olenchuk found Gregg on a swing pass three plays later, and the tailback broke free down the right sideline for a 53-yard TD and a 21-14 lead.
Rock Hills Malik Crawford returned the ensuing kick 97 yards for a TD. Crawford also had returns of 45 and 29 yards in the first half.
(Crawford) did a great job, Joe Montgomery said. He did great, and we blocked that well all night.
The Silver Foxes retook a 28-21 half-time lead on a one-yard score by Gregg, who had 156 total yards on 16 touches by intermission. Dutch Fork scored on all four of its first-half possessions.
The Bearcats finally forced a three-and-out to start the second half. The Silver Foxes recovered a fumble, however, and Olenchuk capitalized with a 12-yard TD connection with Jordan Berry.
Erby and Jones hooked up for a 10-yard score to cut the lead to 35-28. On cue, Olenchuk answered in one play with a 58-yard strike to Berry for a TD. Dutch Fork led 42-28 heading into the fourth period.
The Bearcats cut the lead to one score again with 10:13 remaining. A 42-yard screen to Jonathan Adams set up a third Erby-to-Jones TD, this time from six yards out. Rock Hills defense followed with another stop, but the Silver Foxes recovered a muffed punt. Walter Roberson converted that into a 1-yard TD run and a 49-35 lead with 6:55 left.
The Bearcats rallied one more time. Erby threw a 27-yard strike to Scott with 2:55 left. The defense forced one punt which led to the third turnover on a second muffed punt - and another which gave Rock Hill the ball back with 55 seconds remaining. Four desperation passes fell incomplete, however. Montgomery gave his team a simple message afterward.
Its fairly obvious you have to play better defensively, Montgomery said. You cant give up 49 points and expect to win football games.
Dutch Fork 49, Rock Hill 42
RH-Josh Erby 12 pass to Jamel Jones (Harrison Dixon kick)
DF-Derek Olenchuk 1 run (Tyler Bass kick)
RH-Erby 11 pass to Jaleel Scott (Dixon kick)
DF-Trey Gregg 6 run (Bass kick)
DF-Olenchuk 53 pass to Gregg (Bass kick)
RH-Malik Crawford 97 kick return (Dixon kick)
DF-Gregg 1 run (Bass kick)
DF-Olenchuk 12 pass to Jordan Berry (Bass kick)
RH-Erby 10 pass to Jones (Dixon kick)
DF-Olenchuk 58 pass to Berry (Bass kick)
RH-Erby 6 pass to Jones (Dixon kick)
DF-Walter Roberson 1 run (Bass kick)
RH-Erby 27 pass to Scott (Dixon kick)
RUSHING DUTCH FORK: Gregg 19-109, Roberson 4-24, Olenchuk 4-1. ROCK HILL: Erby 8-17, Crawford 1-2, Jonathan Adams 7-0.
PASSING DUTCH FORK: Olenchuk 12-16-0, 224 yards. ROCK HILL: Erby 34-52-1, 406 yards.
RECEIVING DUTCH FORK: Berry 5-131, Gregg 5-82, Brigman German 2-11. ROCK HILL: Jones 11-107, Adams 4-111, Scott 8-97, Alec McCoy 3-41, JauQuan Feaster 4-21, Tre Thompson 2-16, Crawford 2-13.
RECORDS: Dutch Fork 2-1, Rock Hill 1-2.