The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets’ defense came up big when it needed to, stopping a Clover drive with under a minute left in Friday’s football game to hold on for a 14-7 win.
The game had been moved up from Friday with the anticipation of bad weather in the area. Clover was coming off a bye week while visiting Fort Mill looked to rebound from a loss last week to Northwestern. The extra week off meant fresher legs for Clover late in the game.
“It does make you worry,” said Fort Mill coach Ed Susi. “We sucked it up in the end. We will take it. Our defense made plays. Our defense did a great job.”
Clover was playing its first Region 3 game of the season, while Fort Mill was looking for its first region win. Fort Mill is now 1-1 in the region, while Clover is 0-1.
The Blue Eagles scored to start the fourth quarter on an exhausted Fort Mill defense. With the help of a 34-yard run from senior RJ Moore to put Clover inside the 10, junior Coby Hamblen ran in for a touchdown several plays later.
Moore rattled off another nearly 30-yard run on Clover’s second drive to again threaten, but the Jackets defense stopped them.
Clover opened the third quarter receiving the ball and put together a lengthy drive, on its opening seriesas it rattled off a 16-play drive, eating up nine minutes off the clock, but came away with nothing.
Fort Mill started at the 31 and junior quarterback Rogan Wells ran for 41 yards into Clover territory on a keeper.
Later, Wells hit senior Brandon Plyler on a 26-yard touchdown pass to put Fort Mill up by two scores.
The Jackets had the ball less than a minute in the third quarter and ran just five plays, but made them count.
The Blue Eagles slowly ate up the turf at Memorial Stadium as they started deep in its own territory to open the second quarter.
Clover used several running backs in the game to move the ball, but again its drive stalled forcing a punt. Fort Mill’s running game struggled to start the second quarter, forcing a Jackets punt.
The Jackets tried to mix things up by passing the ball after seeing their running game was being figured out by Clover.
Plyler caught a 16-yard pass to put Fort Mill at the 35 inside Clover territory. The senior again caught another big pass to put the Jackets at the 10-yard line.
Plyler and Wells would cap off the drive as the two would connect for the first score of the game.
The Jackets were forced to punt on their first series of the game. Clover pushed the ball down the Fort Mill middle early on, but the Jackets caught on after giving up three first downs and were able to force the Blue Eagles to punt.
Clover’s offense started their second series strong, but a fumble by the Blue Eagles allowed senior Logan Yager to recover for Fort Mill at midfield.
Wells then hit senior Chandler Kryst and Plyler on consecutive plays to move the chains, before senior Malik Long would push them into the red zone. Fort Mill got to the four yard line and faced a fourth down, but couldn’t punch it into the end zone turning things over on down.