High School Sports

Historic first

Nation Ford's Lance Jacobs brings down Derita's Shane Merrill Jr.
Nation Ford's Lance Jacobs brings down Derita's Shane Merrill Jr.

FORT MILL -- Nation Ford made history Thursday, winning its first-ever football game with a 39-6 crushing of Derita (N.C.) Christian Academy.

The matchup was also the first home game for Nation Ford, which lost its first three games on the road. The Falcons got a huge game from tailback Tony Hall, who amassed 143 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Nation Ford jumped ahead early by winning the field-position battle. The Deacons (0-4) received the opening kickoff and were forced to punt after losing a yard on three carries.

As a sign of things to come, Derita punter Shane Merrill Jr. botched the snap, turning the ball over to the Falcons. Derita mishandled 4-of-6 punt attempts, constantly putting Nation Ford in position to score.

Although Nation Ford (1-3) couldn't convert on its opening drive, the Falcons' defense didn't allow Derita past the 50-yard-line the remainder of the half.

Nation Ford punched it in after Derita lost the ball on downs and never looked back. Hall scored the first of his touchdowns with 6:51 remaining in the first quarter.

Falcons linebacker Jackson Gibson blocked a punt through the back of the end zone for a safety. On the next possesion after receiving the free kick, Hall ran in another touchdown.

The Nation Ford defense came up big, intercepting four passes and holding the Deacons to five first downs. If not for a late interception return for a score, Derita would have been shut out.

No one was more excited to pick up the school's first win than coach Rusty Jester.

"We really needed a boost of confidence," said Jester, fresh from a Gatorade victory bath. "It was very important to get that first win behind us. We are getting better as a team and it is nice to see it finally show up in the final score."

Jester reminded his team to enjoy the win, but be ready to get back to work next week for the first-ever intra-city game between Fort Mill and Nation Ford. Although the Falcons know next week will produce a more difficult matchup, they are excited for the opportunity.

"Next week is going to be a lot of fun," said defensive star Lance Jacobs, who had two sacks and a forced fumble. "(Fort Mill) has already started talking; hopefully we can come out with the first win in the series."