FORT MILL -- Yellow Jacket fans witnessed a tremendous improvement over the first three weeks of the season, culminating in a 35-0 thrashing of the Eastside Eagles behind a punishing rushing attack and stifling defense.
The maturation of backup quarterback Danny Till and a hard-nosed defensive effort by the Yellow Jackets made it a long night for the visiting team. The Jackets finished with more than 400 yards of total offense, compared to just 109 for Eastside.
After failing to score an offensive touchdown in its first two games, Fort Mill's offense came alive Friday night against the Eagles, scoring early and often and dominating the time of possession all game.
Defensively, Fort Mill was just as impressive, holding Eastside to 11 yards and just one first down in the first half. The single first down came on a facemask penalty after Jacket defensive lineman Keith Tate slung Eagles quarterback Drake Thompson down.
The Jackets received the opening kickoff and swarmed down the field behind powerful running by running back Max Simons. Simons got the call on the first four Yellow Jacket plays, rushing for 40 yards and setting Fort Mill up with excellent field position.
Simons looked like a superstar on the field, finishing the night with 119 yards and two touchdowns. All but 21 of his yards came in the first half as Fort Mill took control.
The Yellow Jackets had drives of 80, 51, and 69 yards, jumping out to a 21-0 halftime lead. Fort Mill rushed for 218 yards before the Eagles ever crossed midfield.
First-year head coach Ed Susi was pleased with his squad's effort on the night, especially that of Till.
"Danny has worked his tail off all season and it is finally showing up in his game time performance," said Susi. "He made a lot of good option reads for us tonight and is quickly turning into a leader for us on the field."
The win sets up a showdown next Friday night at Fort Mill's Bob Jones Stadium as the Yellow Jackets host Nation Ford in the first game between the crosstown rivals. Nation Ford is coached by former Fort Mill coach Rusty Jester.
"We are ready to play Nation Ford next week," Till said, "but we know that all games are important. Next week will be a lot of fun."
Fort Mill 7 14 7 7 -- 35
Eastside 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Fort Mill 35