Chester coach Anthony Sterling and his staff did everything to properly prepare their team against Nation Ford, including keeping the team focused against several distractions.
The first distraction was the week-long Homecoming festivities. The next was the anticipation of upcoming games, the showdown against South Pointe and the season finale against Fairfield Central.
Those distractions may explain the rash of Cyclone miscues, which included two scoreless red-zone trips and 14 penalties for 132 yards. Nonetheless, Chester regrouped against a stubborn Nation Ford squad for a 21-15 victory.
"First of all, my hats off to coach (Rusty) Jester and his staff; they had their kids ready to play," Sterling said. "But this week, the kids were looking forward to the next two weeks when we have two big games ahead of us.
"This was a good win against a very good team. It is good to be 3-0 in the region; we wanted to get everyone out of here healthy and we were able to do that."
Chester got 274 passing yards from quarterback Tony McNeal, including an 11-yard touchdown strike to Deterrion Hardin in the fourth quarter for a 21-9 lead. Nation Ford responded, marching 65 yards in six plays. Quarterback Thomas Condon found Will Ford for a 6-yard pass to cut the lead to six points
The loss drops the Falcons to 0-3 in league play and 4-4 overall, Meanwhile, Chester is 3-0 and will travel to South Pointe next week. South Pointe, also 3-0, defeated Fairfield Central, 17-7, Friday, setting up the Region 4-AAA showdown in Rock Hill.
NATION FORD 15
NF - Gary Pence 25 field goal
C - Tony McNeal 19 pass to Tevin Worthy (Joey Ford kick)
C - McNeal 2 pass to Worthy (Ford kick)
NF - Thomas Condrun 1 run (run failed)
C - McNeal 11 pass to Deterrion Hardin (Ford kick)
NF - Condrun 6 pass to Will Visbeck (kick failed)
RUSHING - Chester: Julius Pendergrass 14-78, K.J. Dixon 4-33, McNeal 5-(-42), Brent Minter 14-61. Nation Ford: Condron 16-23, JoJo Williamson 10-46, Visbeck 8-54, Jake Williams 3-5, Daniel Jackson 1-3.
PASSING - Chester: McNeal 24-41-1-274. Nation Ford: Condron 14-41-3-122.
RECEIVING - Chester: Worthy 9-80, Deon Strong 6-89, K.J. Dixon 2-23, Jamarcus Moore 1-20, Derrick Woods 1-18, Pendergrass 2-3, Hardin 3-41. Nation Ford: Williamson 3-26, Visbeck 3-19, Will Ford 5-70, Jackson 1-(-3), Nick Damm 1-7, Williams 1-3.
RECORDS: Chester 6-2, 3-0 in Region 4-AAA; Nation Ford 4-4, 0-3.