High School Sports

Fort Mill Yellow Jackets edge Rock Hill for 3rd region win

Fort Mill scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 20-19 win over the Rock Hill Bearcats possibly eliminating them from playoff contention.

Needing to run the table to make the playoffs, Rock Hill came into the game 0-3 in Region 3-4A. They are now 3-6 overall and 0-4 in the region. Fort Mill is 3-1 in the region and 7-2 overall.

Fort Mill quarterback Rogan Wells used his feet as much as his arm to move the Jackets in the second half trying to rally his team. Wells rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries for Fort Mill.

Wells led the Jackets’ opening drive of the fourth quarter as they went 68 yards on 10 plays with the junior quarterback doing most of the work capping things off with a 16-yard touchdown run.

After a Fort Mill defensive stop, Wells hit Clay Helvey on a big 37-yard pass to move the Jackets to the nine-yard line midway through the fourth. Fort Mill couldn’t punch it in, but kicker Taylor Sheets converted a 28-yard field goal to give the Jackets a 20-19 lead, its first of the game.

“Our seniors came through big time,” said Fort Mill head coach Ed Susi. “Rogan made some plays and our defense came up big.”

Fort Mill received the second half kickoff and moved the ball well to start things off for the Jackets. Malik Long, Chandler Kryst and Wells led the drive as they picked up four first downs, but struggled to get inside the red zone, where they turned things over on downs. Long left in the third quarter after getting injured. Susi said after the game, that he should be fine.

The Jackets stopped Rock Hill and got a good bounce after a punt to start at the Bearcats’ 40.

Fort Mill struggled to get around the ends as Bearcats utilized their speed to stall the Jackets run. Wells finally got its passing game working as Wells hit Brandon Plyler for a 23-yard touchdown to get Fort Mill back in the game making it 12-10.

Rock Hill came right back to extend their lead as quarterback Brandon Banks hit DeShaun McFadden for a 75-yard touchdown on the Bearcats next series.

Rock Hill put together a lengthy drive that ended the first quarter and started the second. The Bearcats moved the ball well converting two third down attempts. Banks was then picked off by Jackets’ Ronnie Hughes at the 20 to end the drive for Rock Hill.

The Bearcats’ defense was able to make up for the mistake and held Fort Mill to just four-yards on their next drive forcing them to punt.

Banks and Brandon Croutch pounded their way down the field for Rock Hill moving the Bearcats into the red zone. Croutch would the score on a screen-pass two plays later after a fumble would back Rock Hill up to the 15.

Fort Mill tried to get something to happen as Wells hit Plyler for a 48-yard completion getting them into Rock Hill territory. The Jackets got to the 6, but again couldn’t punch the ball in as the field goal attempt fell no good for Fort Mill.

Croutch had a big 43-yard run for the Bearcats on its first series of the game to push them past midfield. Banks then rushed 26 yards to get them inside the 5, where Croutch would run in from three-yards out a couple plays later to get Rock Hill on the board early.

Wells moved the ball down the field taking off for a 16-yard run to cross midfield on the Jackets’ first series, and then got 15 yards extra with a late hit to put Fort Mill deep in Rock Hill territory.

Fort Mill got within the 10-yard line twice on the drive, but penalties on each occasion backed them up. Wells was then picked off by Rock Hill’s Da’Chon Witherspoon in the end zone as he went for a touchdown.

Rock Hill would give the ball right back on a fumble as the Jackets’ Brett Ferguson would recover for Fort Mill at the 25. Fort Mill couldn’t move the ball as well, but went to Sheets as he hit a 42-yard field goal getting the Jackets on the board.

At the half, Katelyn Wilk was crowned homecoming queen for Fort Mill.