For the second straight week, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets used the first half to do the majority of work as they shut out the Lugoff-Elgin Demons 41-0.
The game saw the return of long time Jackets defensive coordinator Dave Thomas, who is in his first year as head coach of the Demons. Thomas, a Fort Mill native and a 1995 Fort Mill High grad, was the defensive coordinator for Fort Mill from 2007 to 2012. He is in his second year at Lugoff-Elgin.
“It was a learning experience for us,” Thomas said. “(Fort Mill head coach) Ed (Susi) has a good group. His quarterback looks great, and his offensive line blocked well.”
The Jackets started the second half in great field position at the Demons 41-yard-line.
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Fort Mill scored to start the third quarter, on two-yard run by junior quarterback Rogan Wells to cap a seven-play drive.
Fort Mill’s defense hounded Lugoff-Elgin all game, which was highlighted by a 25-yard fumble recovery touchdown by senior Dan Marr to put the Jackets up 34-0 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
“We needed that,” Susi said. “It was a good win for the defense. It’s hard to get a shutout.”
Lugoff-Elgin put together its best drive of the game by getting inside the Jackets 10-yard line on its second drive of the third quarter after the fumble returned for a Fort Mill score. However, the Jackets defense swarmed the Demons, stopping the drive at the 20-yard line and pushing Lugoff-Elgin back.
The Jackets controlled the clock the majority of the second half by using an 11-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter to eat up seven minutes off the clock, which was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by senior Nick Chambers.
Fort Mill started the second quarter with a 22-yard from senior Taylor Hemphill to get the Jackets inside the Lugoff-Elgin 20-yard line. Senior Chandler Kryst then pushed Fort Mill inside the 10-yard line, where senior Malik Long bulldozed his way into the end zone two plays later.
The Jackets defense was just as impressive as the offense as they held Lugoff-Elgin for the majority of the first half, keeping them to just a handful of first down.
Hemphill and Wells continued to make magic as the two connected for a 37-yard pass late in the second quarter, which was aided by a Lugoff-Elgin horse collar.
Wells then hit senior Brandon Plyer for another first down two plays later to get the Jackets to the 22-yard line. Another Demon penalty put Fort Mill at the 12-yard line, but a Lugoff-Elgin blitz forced the Jackets to go for three, which missed.
At one point in the first half, Wells completed nine straight passes going 10-12 for 145 yards in the two periods.
Wells hit Hemphill for a 16-yard pass play getting a key first down on the Jackets first drive of the game. Fort Mill’s offense looked slow early on, despite using its ground attack to keep the drive moving.
It was then a big 42-yard run by Wells who scored on the 10th play of the drive with a quarterback keeper up the middle giving the Jackets the first score of the game.
Lugoff-Elgin’s initial possession saw them keeping the action on the ground, but the Fort Mill defense held strong despite giving up one first down.
The Jackets put together another strong drive in their second series as Wells hit Kryst, senior Clay Helvey and Plyler to move the chains. The biggest play of the drive came as Wells hit Chambers for a 29-yard pass getting Fort Mill into the red zone.
Despite all the passing, it was a 13-yard run by Kryst that put Fort Mill up by two scores after a Taylor Sheets’ extra point.