Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill Middle's Helms leads Jackets back from brink

Fort Mill Middle School defenders gang tackle a Sullivan ball carrier in a shutout win. The Jackets followed that game with a come-from-behind win against Rawlinson Road.
Fort Mill Middle School defenders gang tackle a Sullivan ball carrier in a shutout win. The Jackets followed that game with a come-from-behind win against Rawlinson Road.

The Fort Mill Middle School seventh-grade football team produced two big wins recently, including an exciting, come-from-behind 28-22 victory over the visiting Rawlinson Road's Raiders last week.

The Yellow Jackets were down 22-0 in the fourth quarter against Rawlinson Road Wednesday, Sept. 24. A sloppy first half included five Fort Mill fumbles. After a scoreless third quarter and with only four minutes remaining in the game, Fort Mill quarterback Dalton Helms lofted a 25-yard touchdown strike to Denzel Scott then completed a pass to Andrew Bruce for the two-point conversion.

A stiff defense stopped the Raiders on their next possession. Helms again passed for a touchdown, this time 10 yards to Blake Hill. Helms ran in the two-pointer to cut the deficit to 22-16 with 19 seconds left in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Chris Harvell stripped the ball from a Rawlinson Road runner. The ball was scooped up by Hill, who scored on the 50-yard fumble recovery to tie the score at 22 with eight seconds remaining. The Jackets failed to score on the conversion attempt, sending the game into sudden death overtime.

After winning the coin toss, the Jackets chose to go on defense first and stopped the Raiders cold on four plays. The Jackets then went on offense rom the 10-yard line. A short run on first down got the ball down to the eight-yard line. On the next play, after catching a short pass from Helms, Spencer Pecarro raced into the end zone with the game-winning touchdown.

Also contributing to the win was a great offensive performance by Thomas Logue and defensive play by Preston Myers. Steven Boyd and Malik Watson both had interceptions in the defensive effort.

The prior week, FMMS defeated Sullivan Middle School 28 -0. Pecarro opened the scoring with a beautiful, 40-yard touchdown reception from Helms, but the point after attempt failed.

In the second quarter, Clifton Carter had a 50-yard reception to move the ball down to the four-yard line. Helms then ran in from the four for the second touchdown of the game to make it 12-0. A two-point pass from Helms to Pecarro was good, making the score 14-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Helms again scored, this time on a 35-yard touchdown run around the left side. The final touchdown came when Scott took a handoff and raced 93 yards untouched for a 26-point lead. Marcus Coleman ran the in the final two-point conversion.

Andrew Bruce also contributed to the offensive effort. The defensive effort was led by Harvell, who had 19 tackles. Helms snared an interception and Hill recovered an onside kick. Also playing well on defense were Justin Etell, Brandon Walker, Dakota Walker and Myers.

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