The Nation Ford Falcons have found a new play caller for next season.
Former Cuthbertson (N.C.) head football coach Dave Johnson, 34, will be the football team’s offensive coordinator. He takes the place of Zac Lendyak, who moved over to Catawba Ridge to be its first head football coach.
Johnson was head man at Cuthbertson for six seasons, and at Hopewell for two seasons prior to that. Johnson lives in Indian Land and will be teaching social studies at Nation Ford next year. Johnson resigned as football coach after Cuthbertson’s season, but still wanted to be involved in football in a lesser capacity where the time commitment wasn’t as great as a head coach’s.
“My family situation had changed,” he said. “My wife and I had a child and I knew I needed to make some changes.”
Johnson knows Nation Ford’s reputation for an explosive, pass-heavy offense. He also said the offense he ran at Cuthbertson and Nation Ford’s offense are very close.
“One reason this became a great fit is the similarities between what we did and what they do,” he said.
Nation Ford ran the ball more in 2018 than it traditionally has, racking up nearly as many rushing yards last season (1,357) as they did passing yards (1,376). 1,600-yard rusher Nathan Mahaffey should return in the Falcons’ backfield in 2019.
“We aren’t going to stand him in the back there and not hand him the ball,” Johnson said.
Johnson will be at Nation Ford periodically this semester helping to install the offense for the 2019 season and will also be at spring practice in May.
“It was a good fit for us,” said Nation Ford coach Michael Allen. “Part of the deal was there was a lot of running stuff I wanted to initiate.”
Besides Johnson, Robert Sherrod has been hired to coach the offensive line and will also be coming over from Cuthbertson.
Nation Ford assistant coaches Wayne Richardson, Taylor Irvin and Chris Rust will be heading over to Catawba Ridge to join Lendyak. Allen said he understands their move to the new school, and has no hard feelings about it.
“Change is good,” Allen said. “Change is only bad when you don’t embrace it.”
- Mac Banks
Fort Mill 3, Indian Land 1
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets made the most of seven hits and toppled the Indian Land Warriors 3-1 in a non-region contest at Indian Land Thursday night.
Fort Mill broke a 1-1 tie with a single run in the fourth and added an insurance run in the sixth.
Steven Neece led Fort Mill with a pair of hits and one RBI. Carson Jones added two hits and Connor Manco drove in one run. Indian Land was led by Kyle Raynor with two hits, and Zach Webb drove in the Warriors only run. Isaac Bierne pitched a complete game and scattered six hits to record the win. Raynor also pitched a complete game and took the loss for the Warriors.
Fort Mill is 7-0 on the year, while Indian Land falls to 1-6.
Fort Mill 14, White Knoll 3
Fort Mill collected 10 hits and ripped White Knoll 14-3 in a non-region game at White Knoll Wednesday night.
The Yellow Jackets took an 11-1 lead after three innings and coasted from there for the victory. Brady Stone led Fort Mill with three hits and 3 RBI. Connor Manco added three hits and drove in a pair of runs. Mikey Tepper added three hits to the attack. J. T. Marr added one hit and drove in four runs in the winning effort.
Brayden Kurtz pitched into the fourth and got the win. He struck out three. A. J. Jaworowski finished up and struck out four.
Rock Hill 8, Lancaster 4
The Rock Hill Bearcats collected nine hits and beat the Lancaster Bruins 8-4 in a non-region game at Lancaster Thursday night.
Rock Hill erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the second frame. They tacked on two more in the third before Lancaster scored in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2. The ‘Cats put the game away with three runs in the fifth.
Cole Bitting led Rock Hill with two hits and three RBI. Nick Petit added a hit and two runs batted in and Blake Sherrill got one hit and drove in one run. Allen Coye added a hit to the winning effort. Jarron Taylor led Lancaster with two hits.
Dylan King worked six innings and struck out six to earn the win. Raul Garcia-Mora took the loss for the Bruins. Rock Hill is 5-0, and Lancaster is 2-2.
Clover 3, York 1
The Clover Blue Eagles toppled the York Cougars 3-1 in a non-region game at Clover Thursday night.
York took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth, but Clover answered with a game-winning three-run rally in the sixth.
Luke McCarter led Clover with a hit and a run batted in. Hunter Fryzowicz added a hit to the winning attack. Hudson Robinson got York’s only hit and knocked in their only run.
Joey Hylinski in relief of Nathan Hensley picked up the win for the Blue Eagles. Clover improves to 6-1, while York falls to 3-2.
Lewisville 18, Great Falls 3
The Lewisville Lions routed the Great Falls Red Devils 18-3 in a non-region game at Richburg Thursday night.
The Lions, led by first year coach Blake Barron, exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Lewisville is 1-0, while Great Falls is 0-3.
Nation Ford 11, Carolina Royals 1
The Nation Ford Falcons ripped the Carolina Royals 11-1 in a non-region contest at Nation Ford Thursday night.
The Falcons started early scoring four times in the both the first and second innings for an 8-0 lead. They completed their scoring with three more in the third.
UNC Greensboro signee Bradley Bott led Nation Ford with a pair of hits and two RBI. Magdiel Cotto and Justin Lehman each added a hit and two RBI to the wining effort. Jeffery Maidhof worked three innings, recorded eight strikeouts and picked up the win. The Falcons are 4-2 on the year.
Nation Ford 15, Indian Land 3
The Nation Ford Falcons pounded out 13 hits and routed the Indian Land Warriors 15-3 in a non-region game at Indian Land Wednesday night.
The Falcons led 8-0 after three innings and cruised from there for the win Tyler Causey and Steven Johnson led the Falcons with three hits each. Johnson drove in three runs and Causey knocked in two. Chase Dougherty led the Warriors with three hits.
Magdiel Cotto pitched four innings and got the win. He struck out five.
Rock Hill 6, York 1
The Rock Hill Bearcats defeated the York Cougars 6-1 in a non-region game at Rock Hill Wednesday night.
The ‘Cats took a 2-0 lead after one inning and made it 6-1 after five frames. York got its only run in the sixth.
Willie Lumpkin led Rock Hill with one hit and two RBI. His two-run home run in the fifth keyed the four-run outburst for the Bearcats. Allen Coye added one hit and a pair of RBI to the winning effort. York was led by Nick Clayton with one hit and one RBI.
Lumpkin worked six innings and picked up the victory with a six strikeout performance. Dylan Smoak took the loss for the Cougars.
Rock Hill is 4-0 on the year.
South Pointe 11, Nation Ford 9 (9)
The South Pointe Stallions edged the Nation Ford Falcons 11-9 in nine innings in a non-region game at South Pointe Thursday night.
Isabella Dunn pitched a complete game and got the victory. She was one of five Stallions with multiple hits to spearhead the offense. Madison Doster, Kayt Houston, Logan Adkins, and Shelby Gibson also had more than one hit for South Pointe.
South Pointe is 1-0, while Nation Ford is 1-2.
Indian Land 5, Rock Hill 4
The Indian Land Warriors nipped the Rock Hill Bearcats 5-4 in a non-region game at Rock Hill Thursday night.
The Warriors are 1-1, while the Bearcats dropped to 2-1.
Chester 18, Great Falls 1
The Chester Cyclones routed the Great Falls Red Devils 18-1 in a non-region game at Chester Thursday night.
Chester is 1-0 on the year. Great Falls is 0-2.
York 16, Northwestern 4
The York Cougars blasted the Northwestern Trojans 16-4 in a non-region contest at Northwestern Wednesday night.
Bailey Wallace led the attack for the Cougars with a grand slam home run. York is 1-1, while Northwestern is 0-2.
Clover 10, Buford 3
The Clover Blue Eagles pounded out 11 hits and toppled Buford 10-3 in a non-region game at Clover Wednesday night.
Buford took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but Clover tallied three times to take a 3-2 lead. They added a pair of runs in both the third and fourth frames for a 7-2 cushion and went on from there for the victory.
Jenna Venturelli led Clover with three hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs. Abbie Welborn added two hits and two RBI, while Tiffany Domingue got two hits and drove in a run.
Gracie McSwain tossed a complete game with three strike outs and recorded the victory. Clover is 2-0 on the year.
Andrew Jackson 4, York 3 (OT)
Andrew Jackson edged the York Cougars 4-3 in overtime in a non-region match at York Thursday night.
The Cougars led 3-1 at halftime, but Andrew Jackson rallied and tied the match in regulation, then won it overtime. York is 1-7 on the year.
North Central 3, Lewisville 2
North Central edged the Lewisville Lions 3-2 in a Region 4-2A match at Lewisville Thursday night. The Lions are 0-1 on the year.
Northwestern 6, Colleton County 1
The Northwestern Trojans defeated Colleton County 6-1 in a non-region game at Colleton County Thursday afternoon. The Trojans improved to 2-1-1 on the year.
Indian Land 3, York 2
The Indian Land Warriors edged the York Cougars 3-2 in a non-region contest at York Wednesday night.
Indian Land took a 2-0 lead at halftime and the two teams traded goals in the second half. Indian Land is 3-3 on the year, while York drops to 1-6.
Andrew Jackson 3, Lancaster 2
Andrew Jackson scored three goals in the second half and edged the Lancaster Bruins 3-2 in a non-region match at Andrew Jackson Wednesday night. The Bruins are 2-2 on the year.
Lewisville 4, North Central 2
The Lewisville Lions toppled North Central 4-2 in a Region 4-2A match at Lewisville Thursday night.
The match was tied 1-1 at halftime and 1-1 at the end of regulation and overtime. The Lions outscored North Central 3-1 on penalty kicks to win the match. Lewisville is 2-1 in all matches and 1-1 in the region.
Lancaster 4, Chester 1
The Lancaster Bruins defeated the Chester Cyclones 4-1 in a non-region match at Chester Wednesday night. Lancaster is 1-1 on the year. Chester is 0-2.
Marvin Ridge 11, Fort Mill 6
Marvin Ridge topped the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets 11-6 in a non-region contest at Fort Mill Thursday night.
Marvin Ridge led 2-1 after one quarter and 4-2 at the half. They pulled away to an 8-3 lead after three periods and played even in the final session. Fort Mill is 5-2 on the year.
Dorman 10, Nation Ford 9 (OT)
Dorman edged the Nation Ford Falcons 10-9 in a non-region contest at Dorman Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers led 8-7 at halftime, but the Falcons rallied to tie it in the final period and force the overtime. The Falcons are 2-1 on the year.
Fort Mill 15, Spartanburg 4
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets defeated Spartanburg 15-4 in a non-region contest at Fort Mill Wednesday night.
The Yellow Jackets led 5-2 at halftime and 12-3 after three period. Fort Mill is 5-1 on the year.
Nation Ford 14, Clover 10
The Nation Ford Falcons topped the Clover Blue Eagles 14-10 in a non-region contest at Clover Thursday night. Nation Ford is 3-0, while Clover is 4-1.
Fort Mill 17, Spartanburg 2
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets routed Spartanburg 17-2 in a non-region game at Spartanburg Wednesday night. Fort Mill is 1-1 on the year.
Nation Ford 14, Dorman 0
The Nation Ford Falcons took charge early and routed Dorman 14-0 in a non-region game at Dorman Wednesday night.
Rock Hill 4, Lancaster 2
The Rock Hill Bearcats topped the Lancaster Bruins 4-2 in a non-region match at Rock Hill Thursday afternoon.
Fort Mill 5, Lancaster 1
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets defeated the Lancaster Bruins 5-1 in a non-region match at Fort Mill Wednesday afternoon.
Fort Mill is 1-0 on the year.
Rock Hill 153, Fort Mill 154, Clover 198
The Rock Hill Bearcats picked up a pair of wins in the Region 3-5A match at Rock Hill Country Club Thursday afternoon.
The Bearcats edged Fort Mill by one stroke and topped Clover by 45 strokes.