FORT MILL — After losing 18 straight games, the Lugoff-Elgin Demons were looking for any small glimmer of hope Friday night. They looked in the wrong place, as the Nation Ford Falcons cruised to a 45-14 win.
The Falcons (2-1) were led by senior quarterback Dalton Helms and senior receivers Brandon Cureton. Helms and Cureton combined for two touchdowns as Cureton caught five passes for 142 yards. Helms threw for 331 yards on 16 of 22 passing.
Nation Ford put the game away in the fourth quarter as Helms and Cureton connected for their second touchdown after the Falcons were penalized on a chop block that backed them up to their own 32 earlier in the drive. Nevertheless, Helms put together big throws to move the ball forward for Nation Ford and the eventual score.
“We asked the guys to play with more energy,” said Falcons coach Michael Allen. “We concentrated on playing football. Our kids did a good job of getting back to basics.”
The Falcons added another score in the fourth after senior Riley Hilton pinned Lugoff-Elgin at its 1 with a punt. From there junior linebacker Grant Brewington recover a fumble in the end zone, to add insult to injury for the Demons.
A big punt return in the third quarter gave Lugoff-Elgin the ball at the Falcons’ 22. Demons quarterback Shon Belton moved the ball into the red zone and then completed just his fourth pass of the game to tight end Elliott Campbell for a six-yard touchdown.
Lugoff-Elgin crossed midfield on its first series in the second quarter after Nation Ford was forced to punt on a three and out to start the period.
The Demons’ running game seemed to work better in bunches, as Belton and junior Daniel Quattlebaum did the majority of work for Lugoff-Elgin on the drive and in the game.
Belton seemed to find little holes in the Falcons’ line and even hit Quattlebaum for a 17-yard pass – Lugoff-Elgin’s biggest of the game to that point. Belton also put a 12-yard run together to get the Demons deep into the red zone, but called two timeouts to work on their game plan.
Whatever Demons coach Scott Jones called, worked because Belton ran in from five-yards out three plays later to cap a 12-play, 57-yard drive.
The long drive gave Nation Ford’s offense enough time to rest because it again came out throwing the ball, scoring in just three plays, going 63 yards as Helms completed passes of 18, 17 and 28 yards, the last one going to Cureton for the score to extend the Falcons’ lead.
Nation Ford got the ball back with about two minutes to go and was able to go 42 yards to score again, this time on the foot of freshman kicker Lexi Dressing, who booted a 25-yard field goal.
The Falcons weren’t through scoring before the half as they put the dagger through the heart of the Demons as Helms hit Cureton for a 47-yard pass, and then two plays later, hit Hilton for a seven-yard touchdown to send Nation Ford into the half leading 31-7.
In the first quarter, Nation Ford wasted no time scoring after an opening play penalty to start the game, the Falcons went 80 yards in five plays as senior Marcus Coleman rushed the ball in from 15 yards out after Helms and Hilton connected for a 60-yard pass.
Nation Ford 45, Lugoff-Elgin 14
NF – Marcus Coleman 15-yard run (Lexi Dressing kick)
NF – Dalton Helms three-yard run (Dressing kick)
LE – Shon Belton five-yard run (Andrew Place kick )
NF – Helms to Brandon Cureton 28-yard pass (Dressing kick)
NF – Dressing 25-yard field goal
NF – Helms to Riley Hilton seven-yard pass (Dressing kick)
LE – Belton to Elliott Campbell six-yard pass (Place kick)
NF – Helms to Cureton 37-yard pass (Dressing kick)
NF – Grant Brewington fumble recovery in end zone (Dressing kick)
RUSHING Lugoff-Elgin: Daniel Quattlebaum 4-23, Shon Belton 21-144, Neely Pearsall 1-(-4), Aldreacio Wells 11-3, Jermaine Jenkins 1-(-1). Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 9-19, Andrew Barr 9-57, Marcus Coleman 3-40, Keshawn McClure 1-4, Tevin Ramirez 2-3, Cole Martin 1-(-8).
PASSING VISITOR: Shon Belton 9-27-0 120. Nation Ford: Dalton Helms 16-22-0 331.
RECEIVING Lugoff-Elgin: Kevin Fields 2-11, Daniel Quattlebaum 6-103, Elliott Campbell 1-6. Nation Ford: Josh Shade 1-(-1), Riley Hilton 4-97, Colt Taylor 4-45, Brandon Cureton 5-142, Marcus Coleman 1-17, Andrew Barr 1-31 .
RECORDS Lugoff-Elgin 0-2; Nation Ford 2-1.