FORT MILL — With both squads needing a jump start as they dig deeper into their Region III-AAAA schedules, Rock Hill held on to a 29-23 win over Fort Mill as the Yellow Jackets let a win slip away in the closing seconds.
We missed our chance, Fort Mill head coach Ed Susi said.
Trailing 29-23 and facing a fourth and 14 with 61 seconds left in the game, Rock Hill was flagged for roughing the passer, giving the Jackets a fresh first down at the Bearcats 12-yard line with nearly 38 seconds left in the game.
Rock Hill then got called for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, moving the ball to the 8-yard line. But Rock Hill would hold the Jackets on the next two snaps and get the win keeping Fort Mill out of the end zone.
Bearcats head coach Joe Montgomery said his team came back from the dead.
We faced a lot of adversity in that game, he said. That was a big game for us. It keeps us in the region race.
Rock Hill was aided by two Fort Mill penalties on its final drive of the fourth quarter, as they picked up several unaided yards unaided. That set up Bearcats quarterback Brandon Banks toss to Juaquan Feaster for an 11-yard score to put Rock Hill back on top after trailing 23-21.
Fort Mill stopped Rock Hill to start the second half, and as the Bearcats went to punt, recovered the ball at the Rock Hill 31-yard line, to get good starting position.
Jackets quarterback Rogan Wells would hit tight end Mason Jordan for a 21-yard gain to get Fort Mill in the red zone. But the Jackets couldnt get the ball much further and had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Chandler Kryst.
Rock Hill was able to get the offense moving again on its second series and went down the field as they moved the ball through the air and on the ground. The Bearcats were aided by a pass interference call against Fort Mill, despite being at the Jackets 7-yard line.
The Bearcats would pound it in several plays later as Justin Stokes would score on a 1-yard plunge to widen the gap for Fort Mill.
A big kickoff return gave spotted the Jackets at the Bearcats 38-yard line on their next drive, where Wells would hit Jordan two plays later for a 22-yard scoring strike to give the Jackets some new life.
Fort Mill would take its only lead as Kryst would intercept Banks on the next drive and return the ball 54-yards for the score to go up 23-21.
Rock Hill finished the game like they started it. After stopping Fort Mill on its first series of the game, Rock Hill started at the Jackets 34-yard line and took the ball right at them. Feaster would score about six plays into the drive to get on the board.
Fort Mill was able to move the ball better on its second drive of the game as they got a couple first downs on the ground, but had their drive stall and were again forced to punt.
Rock Hill again moved the ball at will near the end of the first quarter as Banks hit John McCullough on an 11-yard touchdown pass to extend the Bearcats lead. Banks hit Chris Salerno on the drive and Jermaine White to pick up several first downs through the air.
In the second quarter, knowing the tendency to run the ball, Rock Hill stacked the box against Fort Mill, but the Jackets Malik Long still found holes to squeeze through. Wells was able to hit Kryst for a big 22-yard gain to get them in the red zone and Zach Fowler would get a grab to put Fort Mill at the 2, but they would fumble one play later to kill the momentum.
However, Banks and Rock Hill would be picked off around the 15-yard line by Fort Mills Dan Marr, who went to the 4-yard line.
The Jackets Deryan Sanders would then put Fort Mill on the board two plays later running the ball in from 2 yards out.
A penalty called back the two-point conversion by Fort Mill, where they then attempted the point after and missed.
Fort Mills defense got a stop against the Bearcats and on its next series and went back to Sanders for a 17-yard run. Just as it seemed the Jackets were on a roll, they coughed up the ball to hand it back to Rock Hill.
Rock Hill took advantage and Banks came out slinging the ball as Stokes would gain 23-yards on a catch and White would grab three more out of the air on the drive. Fort Mill would get the stop with about 68 seconds left in the half at its own 15-yard line.
Chelsea Helms was named Homecoming Queen for Fort Mill at halftime.
Rock Hill 29, Fort Mill 23
RH Juaquan Feaster 10-yard run (Easton Templeton kick)
RH Brandon Banks 11-yard pass to John McCullough (Templeton kick)
FM Deryan Sanders two-yard run (kick failed)
FM Chandler Kryst 27-yard field goal
RH Justin Stokes one-yard run (Templeton kick)
FM Rogan Wells 22-yard pass to Mason Jordan (Kryst kick)
FM Kryst 54-yard interception return (Kryst kick)
RH Banks 11-yard pass to Feaster (2-point conversion)
RUSHING Rock Hill: Brandon Banks 2-6, Juaquan Feaster 5-39, Timothy Sherer 2-1, Justin Stokes 14-68, Alex Clary 1-(-11). Fort Mill: Rogan Wells 9-14, Malik Long 13-54, Deryan Sanders 12-27, Chandler Kryst 4-3, Taylor Hemphill 1-3.
PASSING Rock Hill: Brandon Banks 24-35-2 216. Fort Mill: Rogan Wells 13-22-0 157.
RECEIVING Rock Hill: Chris Salerno 3-44, John McCullough 3-18, Juaquan Feaster 4-28, Jermaine White 9-64, Justin Stokes 6-64. Fort Mill: Brandon Plyler 3-30, Chandler Kryst 5-63, Mason Jordan 3-50, Zach Fowler 1-9, Malik Long 1-5.
RECORDS Rock Hill 3-4, 2-1 Region III-AAAA ; Fort Mill 2-5, 0-3 Region III-AAAA.