A defensive tug-of-war in the first half turned into a offensive shootout in the fourth quarter between the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets and York Cougars, before the host Cougars prevailed for a 28-21 win.
“I was proud of them,” said York head coach Bobby Carroll of his team. “(Ladarius) Allison made some incredible catches, but you can’t continue to give good offense like Fort Mill chances.”
Fort Mill (3-2) needed just three plays on its opening drive to reach the red zone after starting on the York side of the 50-yard line. Ryan Heriot put Fort Mill on the board with a 13-yard touchdown scamper.
York (3-1) struggled early on offense with Tanner McKinney and Ethan Mitchell at quarterback working every other series. However, the Cougars put things together with about a minute left in the opening quarter when on third and 19 Mitchell hit Zion Walker for a 33-yard touchdown.
Later, the game turned defensive. York’s defense was strong in stopping Fort Mill and forcing Cougars into making mistakes. The Cougars caused tipped passes and turnovers from the Jackets.
A poor punt out of the end zone by Fort Mill gave York the ball in the red zone at the 16-yard line. McKinney hit Ladarius Allison on an over-the-shoulder pass and catch on the next play to extend the Cougars’ lead to 21-6 in the fourth quarter.
Penalties hurt Fort Mill throughout the first half. York’s defense was instrumental in pushing the Jackets backward, which led to an interception by York’s Zaye Robbins. York grabbed another pick before the end of the first half. York also had several batted passes throughout the game. The Cougars twice blocked a Jackets’ scoring attempt, once on a point after and the second time on a field goal.
“Penalties added up and it hurt us,” said Fort Mill head coach Ed Susi. “All that killed us. You got to make plays.”
McKinney threw for three touchdowns for York to lead them in the second half and passed for 232 yards. Allison had seven catches for 142 yards for York. Fort Mill was led by Marr who passed for 279 yards. He also threw for a touchdown and ran for one as well. Grant Stevens caught six passes for 96 yards for the Jackets.
York takes on rival Clover next week on the road. Fort Mill has a bye next week, before visiting Region IV foe Northwestern at District Three Stadium in Rock Hill.
York 28, Fort Mill 21
Fort Mill 6;0;0;15;-;21
FM - Ryan Heriot 13 run (kick failed), 10:14
Y - Zion Walker 33 pass from Ethan Mitchell (Beck Johnston kick), 51.3
Y - Walker 40 pass from Tanner McKinney (Johnston kick), 4:01
Y - Ladarius Allison 16 pass from McKinney (Johnston kick), 10:30
FM - Shayne Boyle 15 pass from JT Marr (Bartow Keller 2-pt. conversion), 8:30
Y - Shaq Harris 25 pass from McKinney (Johnston kick), 5:45
FM - Marr 1 run (Kyle Romenick kick), 4:39
First downs 19;14
Passing yards 279;293
Fumbles/lost 1-0; 0-0
RUSHING Fort Mill: Ryan Heriot 18-77, JT Marr 10-18, Shayne Boyle 2-9, Jackson Randall 1-(-1), Grant Stevens 5-20. York: Joe Wade 10-14, Stephen Oglesby 7-9, Ethan Mitchell 4-(-9), Tanner McKinney 1-4, JT Sanders 3-25.
PASSING Fort Mill: JT Marr 18-35-2 279. York: Tanner McKinney 13-21-0 232, Ethan Mitchell 3-3-0 61.
RECEIVING Fort Mill: Grant Stevens 6-96, Bartow Keller 3-32, Ryan Heriot 1-29, Jackson Randall 1-(-5), Shayne Boyle 3-87, Josh Cloud 2-26, Ben Kellam 1-7, Sebastian Lach 1-7. York: Shaq Harris 3-51, Ladarius Allison 8-142, Zion Walker 3-90, Joe Wade 1-6, Stephen Oglesby 1-4.
RECORDS Fort Mill 3-2; York 3-1