High School Sports

Gaffney topples Rock Hill to win second straight region game

The Rock Hill Bearcats could not follow up their solid performance against York, and the Gaffney Indians got their second straight win 31-14 Friday night at The Reservation in Gaffney.

"We never had the momentum,” said Rock Hill coach Bubba Pittman. “Gaffney is a good football team and they run the ball well. I thought our defense played hard. We didn't get it done offensively and we didn't get it done in the special teams game. We kept them (the defense) out there way too long. They kept us in the game early but we gave them nothing, no support."

Gaffney’s first four possessions ended up in Rock Hill territory but only resulted in three points. The Indians had 159 yards in the first quarter.

Gaffney got on the board first with a 33-yard field goal by senior Vicente Botello with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

Rock Hill’s Pittman called for a fake punt on fourth-and four from the Indians’ 43 and the up-back Josh English took it 16 yards for a first down. Three plays later, quarterback Brandon Banks hit Deshaun McFadden with a 15-yard fade pass for a touchdown and the Bearcats led 7-3 with 6:47 left in the first half.

On the next possession for Gaffney, the Indians’ star senior running back Jordon Shippy suffered a serious ankle injury and was taken off on a stretcher. Shippy had 14 carries for 56 yards at the time of his injury. On the carry that resulted in his injury, Shippy reached 1,001 yards for the season. On the next play, Rock Hill was called for defensive holding on a fourth-and-seven incompletion from the Bearcat 27. Three runs later Shippy’s replacement, Jalen Sims, ran it in from five yards out to put Gaffney up 10-7 with 2:34 left in the half.

With 1:31 left, Rock Hill tried another fake punt on fourth-and-two from the Indian 48. This time, however, Gaffney was ready. McFadden ran it for a one-yard loss and the Indians took over.

The Indians would take that momentum and drive 51 yards in six plays. Sophomore quarterback Bryson Ward hit Scott McCluney on a bubble screen on third-and-25 and he ran it up the middle of the field for a 38-yard touchdown. The Indians led 17-7 with 22.3 seconds left in the half.

The Bearcats took the opening kickoff of the second half and went 54 yards in 11 plays but Banks was stopped at the eight yard line on a fake field goal.

On third down from their 12, Gaffney hit on a 78-yard catch-and-run to the Rock Hill ten. But on the next play, McFadden jumped a route and took the interception return 90 yards to cut the lead to 17-14.

After the Indians fumbled the ensuing kickoff but recovered, they answered back. They drove 65 yards in eight plays and Sims scored on a 15-yard run to make it 24-14.

The Bearcats failed to move it on their next possession and had to punt.

Gaffney finished it off by going 82 yards in 15 plays. Sims scored from one yard out for his third touchdown to make it 31-14 with 6:46 left. Sims rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries in replacing Shippy.

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