With one of the Carolinas' most successful coaches guiding Dutch Fork, Clover left too much time on the clock late in the game.
The Silver Foxes drove 75 yards in eight plays, scoring the game winner with less than a minute in the game on a 25-yard touchdown run by running back Brandon Quattlebuam. The Silver Foxes, led by former Independence High coach Tom Knotts, advanced to the second round of the Class AAAA, Division I playoffs with a 30-25 win.
As a high school coach in North Carolina, Knotts won nearly 300 games and seven state titles. He's in his first year at Dutch Fork.
"It was a great effort," said Clover coach Jet Turner. "We just needed one play at the end and didn't get it. I'm proud of my kids."
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Entering the game, Clover had four backs who scored at least one touchdown this season, while the Silver Foxes had three big threats in senior quarterback Justin Suber, Quattlebuam and senior tight end C.J. Cannon.
Coming into the game, Suber had rushed for more than 1,000 yards and thrown for more than 1,500. Quattlebuam had rushed for more than 1,200 yards with 21 touchdowns.
The Blue Eagles weren't lacking in talent as senior quarterback Aaron Miller had more than 1,200 yards on the ground as well and nearly 500 yards in the air.
Clover started slowly, falling behind 16-0 early.
Dutch Fork opened the game with a 14-play drive, eating up seven minutes, but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal.
Clover ran the ensuing kickoff to the Dutch Fork 25, but stalled at the 15. The Blue Eagles faked a field goal but were stopped by the Silver Foxes.
Dutch Fork wasted little time scoring on its second drive. On the second play, Suber hit sophomore Jordan Berry on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Berry caught the ball while diving into the end zone.
The Silver Foxes moved the ball back down the field to start the second quarter, with Suber and Quattlebaum teaming up on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Clover scored with about five minutes left in the half. Miller broke loose on a 38-yard run, moving the Blue Eagles to the Dutch Fork 29. Miller scored four plays later.
DUTCH FORK 30
DF - Robby Lowman 21 field goal
DF - Justin Suber to Jordan Berry 50 pass (Lowman kick)
DF - Suber to Brandon Quattlebaum 35 pass (2-point conversion failed)
C - Aaron Miller 16 run (2-point conversion failed)
C - Zavian Sherer 9 run (kick failed)
C - Miller 34 run (Trey Childress kick)
DF - Quattlebaum 13 run (Lowman kick)
C - Miller 44 run (kick failed)
DF - Quattlebaum 25 run (Lowman kick)
RUSHING - Dutch Fork: Justin Suber 12-73, Brandon Quattlebaum 14-100, C.J. Cannon 1-5.Clover: Aaron Miller 19-145, Zavian Sherer 6-33, Quontavious Kennedy 5-14, Derrick Carothers 6-22, Davontay Brown 5-36.
PASSING - Dutch Fork: Justin Suber 17-21-1 273. Clover: Aaron Miller 1-4-1 22.
RECEIVING - Dutch Fork: Jordan Berry 4-37, Brandon Quattlebaum 4-67, Ike Harris 1-4, C.J. Cannon 5-144, Shaq Price 3-21. Clover: Derrick Carothers 1-22.
RECORDS: Dutch Fork 10-2, Clover 9-3.