In their opening week, the Rock Hill High Bearcats didn't make things look easy. Their second week was a little different.
The Bearcats beat Nation Ford 32-24 to improve to 2-0 on the season and give the Falcons from Fort Mill their first loss of the season.
Both teams struggled with turnovers, and Nation Ford was flagged for all four of their penalties in the second half. Rock Hill had struggles of its own, leading to an upset coach Joe Montgomery, despite the win.
"We played very poorly," Montgomery said. "Our turnovers gave up big plays. We made some big plays. The interception return was huge."
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Nation Ford coach Rusty Jester was pleased with how his team played, but realized they aren't at the next level just yet.
"Our players didn't always play great ball, but they played hard," Jester said. "We have to execute better offensively. The pressure they put on us is what stopped our offense."
Nation Ford recovered a pooch kick on the opening kickoff and started its first drive at the Bearcat 30-yard line. Six plays later senior quarterback Thomas Condron hit junior Jake Williams on a 19-yard touchdown streak route over the middle for the opening score of the game in just 2:09.
After turning the ball over on downs again, Nation Ford started its drive in the first quarter and finished it in the second quarter when it went 71 yards on eight plays. After a failed third down conversion, the Falcons converted a 47-yard field goal by first-year kicker Gary Pence.
Rock Hill put together one of its better drives of the first half after the Falcons field goal getting in the red zone, but lost six yards on two plays and then drew an off-sides penalty, pushing them back to the 25-yard line.
Quarterback Corey Wessinger completed a 14-yard pass to get Rock Hill into field goal position, where senior Micah Burklin hit a 30-yard field goal. Wessinger replaced Kenterius Hinton who left in the first quarter with an ankle injury.
After a failed Falcons drive, Rock Hill took the punt and started at the 39-yard line. Three plays later, the Bearcats were near the red zone after a 27-yard pass from Wessinger to senior tight end Joe Perry.
Two more first-down passes from Wessinger to Trey Murdock and Heyward set up a seven-yard touchdown pass to senior Kirob Sims with less than 50 seconds left in the first half to tie the game after the extra point.
Nation Ford took the second half kickoff and wasted no time swinging the momentum as Condron hit junior J.J. McCullough for a 65-yard touchdown pass in just four plays to put the Falcons up by a touchdown.
Rock Hill came right back with a seven-play, 65-yard drive to tie the game on a 22-yard touchdown run by senior Savion Thoms.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Bearcats took advantage of a great punt return by William Killian to put Rock Hill at Nation Ford's 39-yard line in the fourth quarter. Heyward put the Bearcats ahead for the first time in the game on a five-yard touchdown run.
Nation Ford returned the kickoff 80 yards but got an unsportsmanlike penalty and was pushed back to the 37-yard line. The Falcons fumbled on the next play giving the ball back to Rock Hill.
The Falcons stopped Rock Hill on their next drive and forced them to punt. Nation Ford took the ball to the Bearcats seven-yard line, when Condron's pass was tipped and returned by Killian for a 96-yard touchdown to seal the deal.
ROCK HILL 32, NATION FORD 24
NF -- Jake Williams 19 pass from Thomas Condron (Gary Pence kick)
NF -- FG Pence 47
RH -- FG Micah Burklin 30
RH -- Kirob Sims 7 pass from Corey Wessinger (Burklin kick)
NF -- J.J. McCullough 65 pass from Condron (Pence kick)
RH - Savion Thoms 22 run (Burklin kick)
RH - Arthur Heyward 5 run (two-point conversion good)
RH - William Killian 96 interception return (Burklin kick)
NF - Condron 1 run (Pence kick)
Rushing - Rock Hill: Arthur Heyward 10-65, Savion Thoms 14-108, Kenterius Hinton 2-21,Corey Wessinger 1-3, Kirob Sims 1-7. Nation Ford: J.J. McCullough 9-18, Thomas Condron 10-21, JoJo Williamson 6-23.
Passing - Rock Hill: Hinton 1-2-2, Wessinger 12-16-145. Nation Ford: Condron 20-36-1 319.
Receiving: Rock Hill: Sims 7-60, De'Breon Crockett 1-9, Joe Perry 1-27, Trey Murdock 3-37, Heyward 1-14. Nation Ford: Williamson 1-0, Will Ford 8-126, Nick Damm 5-56, Jake Williams 4-61, McCullough 2-76.
Records: Rock Hill 2-0, Nation Ford 2-1