FORT MILL — In a game where something had to give with two high-powered offenses and two tough-nose defenses going head-to-head, the Nation Ford Falcons shocked the fourth-ranked York Cougars in overtime Friday, winning 20-17.
The Falcons offense have been lights out most of the season and seemed to score at will, while the Cougars defense has been stellar at holding teams to just a touchdown a game through its first seven games of the season.
York had allowed just six offensive touchdowns during the season.
On Friday, they gave up two big ones, with senior Daniel Jackson scoring on a nine-yard run in overtime to give the Falcons the victory after York had to settle for a field goal in the extra period.
It feels good, Jackson said. This is another first for us in our schools history.
Falcons coach Michael Allen challenged his defense to match up with York and it worked.
Nobody gave up, Allen said. Our game plan was to run the football. We put the pressure on the defense. This group stepped up and played a great game. This is great momentum for us.
On Yorks first drive of the final quarter, the turnovers finally bit the Cougars as Falcons senior DeMarcus Thompson picked off a Spencer Carroll pass at the Falcons 25 and returned it for a score, putting Nation Ford up 14-7 with about nine minutes left in the game.
Late in the fourth, York finally broke out of its slump, aided by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike call against Nation Ford, putting the Cougars at the Falcons 13-yard line. Carroll hit junior Markel Castle on the next play to tie the game at 14 with just under a minute left.
Nation Ford regrouped at the half and stopped York on its first drive of the second half. On the Falcons first drive, they took advantage of a good start going 65-yards in six plays to get on the score board and tie the game as junior quarterback Dalton Helms hit senior AK McCoy for a 39-yard touchdown.
York stormed back to put the Cougars in scoring position at the Falcons 17-yard line, but Carroll was picked off in the end zone by McCoy, giving the ball back to Nation Ford.
The teams traded interceptions on the next two possession for both squads as turnovers started to become a big part of the game.
York held Nation Ford to just 57 yards of total offense in the first half, with 25 of those yards coming on the ground on 18 carries.
Nation Fords defense struggle to stop the pass as Carroll went 13-19 for 136 yards through the air in the first half.
York blocked a punt with about seven minutes left in the first half giving them the ball at the Falcons four-yard line. However, Nation Fords defense really buckled down and kept York out of the end zone sacking Carroll twice and getting a helpful holding call.
The Cougars also got called for roughing the kicker during a punt which gave Nation Ford a first down near midfield, but it was time for Yorks defense to buckle down, which they did again forcing the Falcons to punt.
York finally broke through on their next drive, the third of the second quarter, as Carroll hit a wide open senior receiver Tay Neely for a 63-yard score on his first catch of the game. Neely was in the middle of the field and then took off down the right side diving in from about three yards out.
Both teams defense was the dominate force in the opening period.
Carroll started the game going 8-8 for 47 yards on the Cougars opening drive and got York to the red zone moving the offense like they were on fire and giving Nation Ford little time to catch their breath. Although, Nation Ford was finally able to breathe easy stopping York at the 11-yard line.
Nation Ford also moved the ball well picking up four first down, but also held without crossing midfield on two possessions.
Nation Ford 20, York 17 (OT)
Y Spencer Carroll to Tay Neely 63-yard pass (Buddy Anderson kick)
NF Dalton Helms to AK McCoy 39-yard pass (Corey Condron kick)
NF DeMarcus Thompson 75-yard interception return (Condron kick)
Y Carroll to Markel Castle 13-yard pass (Anderson kick)
Y Anderson 20-yard field goal
NF Daniel Jackson nine-yard run (no kick)
Rushing York: Ryan Moore 27-163, Spencer Carroll 11-(-3), Ant Smith 1-7, Tay McConnell 1-1. Nation Ford: Daniel Jackson 21-92, Dalton Helms 8-(-11), Andrew Barr 4-20.
Passing York: Spencer Carroll 28-44-4 307. Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 11-19-3 71.
Receiving York: Tay Neely 5-114, Ryan Moore 5-22, Daurice Simpson 8-61, Josh McCoy 3-51, Markel Castle 5-54, Ant Smith 2-5. Nation Ford: Dijuan Ussery 2-6, AK McCoy 5-52, Riley Hilton 1-10, Hank Tuipulotu 1-4, Daniel Jackson 2-(-1).
Records: York 7-1, 3-1 Region III-AAAA, Nation Ford 6-2, 3-1 Region III-AAAA.