It seemed early Friday night that Dorman and Rock Hill were going to engage in an offensive shootout on the turf at District Three Stadium. Just five minutes into the game, both teams had scored rushing touchdowns to cap short drives and tie the score at seven. From there, the story rapidly changed.
Dorman scored touchdowns on five straight possessions between the second and fourth quarters, pulling away from Rock Hill and securing a 42-21 victory.
After those initial drives, both defenses settled in and largely held the opposing offenses at bay, until late in the second quarter. Dorman (2-2) capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive that spanned 3:19 with a Ben Batson touchdown scamper from 13 yards out, putting the Cavaliers ahead 14-7 with just fewer than 20 seconds remaining in the half. Rock Hill (1-4) was unable to capitalize on its opening drive of the half, as the Bearcats stalled at the Dorman 23.
Dorman continued its offensive proficiency following the stop, as a Marcus Ratchford jaunt from 18 years gave the Cavaliers a two-score lead, followed by a two-yard carry from Batson to extend the Cavalier lead to 28-7 late in the third quarter.
Rock Hill began the final stanza with a productive drive, going 72 yards in roughly two minutes. An eight-yard connection from Logan McFadden to Des Buchanan cut the visitors’ lead to 28-14 with 9:49 to play. Dorman quickly answered, though, going 60 yards in 2:14 to push the lead back to three scores. The Cavaliers got a seven-yard rush from Thomas Morgan, his second, to cap their scoring. Des Buchanan scored from 14 yards with just under a minute to play for Rock Hill.
Rock Hill appeared poised to capitalize on an early forced turnover, as Nick Ervin picked up what was thought on the field to be a fumble, then raced 87 yards to the end zone. The score seemingly put his team ahead 14-7, before the officials conferred and ruled the play an incomplete pass and returned the ball to its original spot. Bearcat coach Bubba Pittman came onto the field nearly to the hash marks to request an explanation. The Dorman drive ended with a missed field goal, and Rock Hill fumbled on its ensuing possession.
Ratchford appeared to be slowed during much of the second quarter, tallying just 28 yards over a span of eight carries after starting with 77 on his first four. The junior quickly ramped back up, though, breaking off three double-digit runs over his next seven carries before giving way to Morgan late in the game.
“You’re not going to see a lot of offensive lines like that,” said Rock Hill coach Bubba Pittman of the Dorman blockers. “Those guys are really, really talented up there, and they’re big. We were a little undersized on the defensive line, and it showed up as the game wore on. They were just able to control the line of scrimmage, and we’ve gotta find a way to stop it.”
Dorman’s run game controlled the night, as the Cavaliers carried 42 times for greater than 340 yards. Ratchford and Batson compiled much of that total, rushing for nearly 290 combined yards. Batson and Morgan scored two rushing touchdowns apiece.
Rock Hill’s Des Buchanan carried 20 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. The senior also caught a score from McFadden, who finished 16-for-26 for 139 yards.
“I thought Des played really, really well,” stated Pittman. “I thought he ran the ball hard. He was patient in finding holes and waiting on some lanes to show up. I thought he ran the ball well and protected the football tonight. I thought Des had a really good night.”
Rock Hill is off next week. They will return to play at Gaffney on September 29. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 start.
Dorman 42, Rock Hill 21
Dorman 7;7;14;14;-; 42
Rock Hill 7;0;0;14;-; 21
D – Zach Hillstock 3 run (Marco Flores kick) 8:59
RH – Logan McFadden 13 run (Ryan Hearn kick) 6:59
D – Ben Batson 13 run (Flores kick) :19.6
D – Marcus Ratchford 18 run (Flores kick) 5:01
D – Batson 2 run (Flores kick) :29.9
RH – Des Buchanan 8 pass from McFadden (Hearn kick) 9:49
D- Thomas Morgan 24 run (Flores kick) 7:30
D – Morgan 7 run (Flores kick) 3:24
RH – Buchanan 14 run (Hearn kick) :55.9
RECORDS Dorman 2-2, Rock Hill 1-3.