A strong rushing night for senior running back Justin Stokes (20-138 yards, 2 TDs) gifted Rock Hill a valuable 27-7 win over the Lancaster Bruins (2-8, 0-6 in region), who are riding a seven-game winless streak stretching back to mid-September.
The Bearcats (4-6, 3-3 in 4A) entered the night with only two wins out of five region contests, but now stand a much more respectable 3-3 in 4A as playoff spots begin to be finalized. Stokes scored both of his touchdowns in the second half to cement a 20-point win at District 3 Stadium.
It was a sloppy win. The Bearcats gave up 130 yards on penalty calls, lost starting quarterback Dylan Jones to a concussion for a spell and suffered three interceptions between Jones and his backup, Brandon Banks. Still, head coach Joe Montgomery said he’ll take that kind of win, as long as it’s a win, any day.
“Absolutely,” he said. “They played defense well and we had our struggles offensively, turning the ball over. (Rock Hill) executed well tonight, both of (the quarterbacks) did some good things. It’s experience and you just gotta get experience. We understand it.”
Jau’quan Feaster put Rock Hill up by a score from 22 yards out after just three and a half minutes of action before sophomore Thailand Adams bested his teammate’s efforts with a 23-yard catch from Jones early in the second quarter.
Lancaster’s DeMonte Bell could have led the Bruins to a comeback early in the second half of action. His quick reflexes recovered a bobbled shovel pass from Banks after Jones was knocked out of the game following a six-yard quarterback scramble.
Although the Bruins took over on the Bearcats’ 2 yard line, Rock Hill’s defense held strong and Lancaster came away with nothing.
A fake punt by R.J. Neely, who converted a crucial first down late in the third quarter, set up Stokes for his first touchdown of the night, a four-yard rush to put the Bearcats up by their largest lead of the game.
On the next Rock Hill possession, Banks found Stokes streaking from right to left from 34 yards out for the home team’s fourth unanswered score.
The Bruins’ Cameron Meadows put Lancaster on the board with nine minutes left in the game, but to no avail. Without leading receiver Jay Hood playing, Rock Hill limited Lancaster’s rushing attack to under 50 yards to seal a win which will prove useful with archrival Northwestern coming to District 3 Stadium next Friday. Meanwhile, Lancaster will host South Pointe.
“The game tonight was defense, that goal-line stand, that was just really big for us,” Montgomery said.
Rock Hill 27, Lancaster 7
RHHS- Jau’quan Feaster 22 pass from Dylan Jones (Templeton kick)
RHHS- Thailand Adams 23 yard pass from Dylan Jones (Templeton kick)
RHHS- Justin Stokes 4 run (Templeton kick)
RHHS- Justin Stokes 34 yard pass from Brandon Banks (Templeton kick no good)
LHS- Cameron Meadows 20 run (Latham kick)
ROCK HILL RUSHING: Justin Stokes: 20-138, 1 TD, Dylan Jones: 4-17, Brandon Banks 2-4, R.J. Neely 1-18, Timothy Sherer 2-3, Wes Bostic 1- minus-3. RECEIVING: Justin Stokes: 7-29, 1 TD, John McCullough: 5-16, Jau’quan Feaster 5-93, 1 TD, Thailand Adams: 2-44, 1 TD, Da’ Chon Witherspoon 1-11, James Lindsay 3-4. PASSING: Dylan Jones 14-19, 2 TDs, 197 yards, 2 INTs; Brandon Banks 7-16, 43 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, Wes Bostic 0-1, 0 yards.
LANCASTER RUSHING: Keendarius Truesdale: 15- negative 1 yard, Jeremy Toliver: 5-8, Cameron Meadows 4-33, 1 TD, Kadarius Wright 1-3, Will Jackson 3-2. RECEIVING: Will Jackson: 3-17, Kadarius Wright: 3-12, Austin Franceschelli 3-43, Cameron Meadows 3-20, Jeremy Toliver 1-0, James Killian 2-37. PASSING: Keendarius Truesdale: 14-22, 129 yards, 1 INT.
RECORDS Rock Hill (4-6, 3-3 in 4A), Lancaster (2-8, 0-6 in region)