Rock Hill’s peewee youth football all-stars shut out a fourth opponent in five games, beating Florence 14-0 on Saturday to capture the South Carolina state championship.
The team scored on two first half drives and its defense forced two turnovers to bring home the trophy.
Tamarion Watkins opened the scoring with a 10-yard TD run, followed by Amarian Coleman’s 60-yard scramble for a second TD, after Florence blew up the originally called play. Dailan Duncan hit Kobe Davis for the two-point conversion to make it 14-0 before the intermission.
Florence’s offense found its legs in the second half, but couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone. A Watkins strip and fumble recovery ended one of Florence’s promising drives.
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Rock Hill’s peewee all-stars finished their season with 162 points scored and just 14 allowed.
Former Yellow Jacket is a Division II football national champ
Rogan Wells missed out on the Division II college football national player of the year trophy, but he ended the season with something more important: a national championship.
The former Fort Mill Yellow Jacket played a starring role as Valdosta State (15-0) held off Ferris State 49-47 in a riveting title game in McKinney, Texas.
Wells piloted the Blazers’ offense to almost 500 yards. He completed 19-of-31 throws for 349 yards and five TDs and ran for 39 yards. Oh, and he also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass on an early fourth quarter trick play. Wells’ six TDs set a new championship game record and his five TD passes tied the championship record.
Wells’ TD catch early in the final period put Valdosta State ahead 49-38, but Ferris State roared back and got within two points with 40 seconds left. But Ferris State’s two-point conversion was incomplete and Valdosta recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal its fourth national title since 2004.
Local football players make college commitments
Former South Pointe defensive back Justin Reese and former Northwestern linebacker Caliph Brice made their college choices in recent days.
Reese spent this fall at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y. The 6-foot cornerback, a starter on the Stallions’ undefeated 2017 state title team, committed to Stony Brook late last week.
Stony Brook plays its football in the Colonial Athletic Association in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Seawolves went 7-5 this season and made the FCS national playoffs. Reese picked off five passes and broke up 13 more this season at Milford.
Brice spent the past two seasons out in Kansas at Hutchinson Community College. He ended up with a handful of intriguing college football scholarship options, but ultimately decided on Florida Atlantic on Dec. 17, 2018.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Brice was the second-leading tackler for Hutchinson, which finished the junior college football season ranked eighth nationally. He made 66 stops and was picked second team All-Jayhawk Conference.
Florida Atlantic plays in Conference USA, and is coached by former USC and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin.
South Pointe 82, Nation Ford 41
The South Pointe Stallions defeated the Nation Ford Falcons 82-41 in a non-region game at Nation Ford Saturday night. Stallions coach Stephanie Butler registered the 200th win of her head coaching career, which also included a highly-successful tenure at Butler High School (N.C.).
South Pointe is now 8-2 on the year. Nation Ford is 7-2.
Fort Mill 48, Indian Land 26
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets defeated the Indian Land Warriors 48-26 in a non-region game at Fort Mill Friday night.
Both teams played good defense in the early going and were tied at four after one period. The Yellow Jackets took control in the final three quarters and picked up the one-sided victory.
Calli Wells led the Jackets with 20 points. Ava Delardi added eight points to the winning effort.
Fort Mill is 7-2 overall, while Indian Land has not won in 10 tries.
Lewisville 31, Pageland Central 28
The Lewisville Lions erased a third quarter deficit and edged Pageland Central in a Region 4-2A contest at Richburg Friday night.
Pageland Central led 13-11 at halftime and 22-19 when the third quarter was over. The Lions won the final eight minutes 12-6 to earn the come-from-behind win.
Amber Bass led Lewisville with seven points and 16 rebounds. Allie Keels added six points and pulled down 10 rebounds., while Indy Tobias scored six points and got six rebounds.
Lewisville is 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the region.
South Pointe 80, Rock Hill 19
The South Pointe Stallions raced to a 22-3 lead after one period and blistered the Rock Hill Bearcats 80-19 in a non-region game at South Pointe Friday night.
The Stallions continued the onslaught in the second quarter, and when halftime rolled around they were in front 46-8. They outscored the Bearcats 34-11 in the second half to complete the one-sided win, which was the 200th career victory for Stallions’ head coach Stephanie Butler.
South Pointe is 7-2 on the year, while Rock Hill falls to 5-3 in all games.
A. C. Flora 45, Nation Ford 35
A. C. Flora defeated the Nation Ford Falcons 45-35 in a non-region game at A. C. Flora Friday night.
Nation Ford led 13-11 after one quarter, but A. C. Flora charged back for a 21-19 advantage at halftime. They outscored the Falcons 24-16 in the second half for the win.
Nation Ford is 7-1 overall on the year.
Providence Day 54, York Prep 51
Providence Day used a strong third quarter to take the lead and defeat the York Prep Patriots 54-51 in a non-region game at York Prep Friday night.
York Prep led 17-10 after one period and 33-27 at intermission. Providence Day used a 14-3 advantage in the third quarter to take a 41-36 lead when it was in the books. Providence Day hung on down the stretch for the win.
York Prep is 3-4 on the year.
Nation Ford 71, South Pointe 48
The Nation Ford Falcons topped the South Pointe Stallions in a non-region game at Nation Ford Saturday night.
The Falcons broke to a 21-11 lead after one period and extended it to 43-25 at halftime. South Pointe rallied in the third period and cut the deficit to 48-40, but Nation Ford pulled away in the final eight minutes for the win.
Malik Bryant led the Falcons with 17 points. Zeb Graham followed with 16, Ben Burnham added in 12 and John Heath tossed in 10. Jariyah Burris paced the Stallions with 10. Quan Peterson added eight points for South Pointe.
Nation Ford is 8-2 overall, while South Pointe falls to 1-7.
York Prep 61, Lower Richland 55
The York Prep Patriots defeated Lower Richland 61-55 in the Cardinal Newman Tournament in Columbia Saturday afternoon.
The Patriots were led by Amarion Turner with 22 points. Deuce Dean and Isiah Benjamin joined him in double digits with 13 each.
York Prep is 4-9 on the year.
Fort Mill 84, Indian Land 57
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets placed four players in double figures and defeated the Indian Land Warriors 84-57 in a non-region game at Fort Mill Friday night.
The Jackets led 18-12 after one quarter. They upped the lead to 37-22 at halftime, and when they outscored the Warriors 26-16 in the third period the lead was 63-38. They cruised on from there for the win.
Jacobi Wright led Fort Mill with 29 points. He got offensive help from Keyan Mims, Carson Morton and Lawrence Adams, who tossed in 17, 11 and 10 points respectively. Destin Clark paced the Warriors with a game-high 32 points. Tre Thompson added ten points for Indian Land.
Fort Mill, which won for the seventh straight time, is 7-1 on the year. Indian Land has not won in six outings.
South Pointe 54, Rock Hill 53
The South Pointe Stallions came from behind in the final quarter and nipped the Rock Hill Bearcats 54-53 in a non-region game at South Pointe Friday night.
Rock Hill took an 8-7 lead after one period and used a solid second quarter to increase it to 23-15 at halftime. When the third stanza was complete the ‘Cats had a 43-26 advantage. South Pointe regrouped and charged back in the fourth quarter. They outscored the Bearcats 28-10 to earn the win.
Rock Hill is 6-3 on the year. South Pointe is 1-6 in all games.
Nation Ford 79, A. C. Flora 75 (3 OT)
The Nation Ford Falcons edged A. C. Flora 79-75 in three overtimes in a non-region game at A. C. Flora Friday night.
The Falcons led 20-14 after one period and were in front 28-24 at intermission. A. C. Flora forged ahead 41-40 after three periods, but the Falcons tied the count at 57-57 at the end of regulation. It took three overtime sessions for Nation Ford to claim the win.
Zeb Graham led the Falcons with 30 points. Malik Bryant added 29 to the winning effort.
The Falcons are 7-2 overall on the year.
Lewisville 66, Pageland Central 52
The Lewisville Lions toppled Pageland Central 66-52 in a Region 4-2A game at Richburg Friday night.
The Lions took a 15-12 lead after one quarter and used a solid second period to increase it to 28-20 at halftime. Lewisville led 45-38 after three periods and pulled away in the final eight minutes for the win.
Lewisville is 3-5 overall and 1-0 in the region.
Providence Day 60, York Prep 53
Providence Day defeated the York Prep Patriots 60-53 in a non-region game at York Prep Friday night.
The Patriots are 3-9 on the year.
Fort Mill wins Mill Town Duals
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets compiled a 4-0 record and won the Mill Town Duals Saturday at Fort Mill.
The Yellow Jackets topped York 57-9 and beat Broome 62-12. They completed the sweep with a 68-9 victory over Laurens and a 64-15 decision over Spartanburg.
Fort Mill, which is ranked 15th in the state, is now 8-0 on the year.
Nation Ford finishes fourth
The Nation Ford Falcons finished fourth in the Demon Holiday Classic at Lugoff-Elgin Saturday.
The Falcons scored 177 points in the event. Lugoff-Elgin was first with 269. Chapin (221) and Cane Bay (214) were second and third.
Nation Ford’s Dylan Tindall claimed a championship, while Dax Stegall was a runner-up and Steven Johnson finished third in their respective weight classes.
Indian Land places fourth
The Indian Land Warriors finished fourth in the Takedown Sportswear Invitational at Buford, Georgia over the weekend.
Buford (GA) won the event with 247 points. Indian Land scored 100 points in the tournament.
Chester wins three
The Chester Cyclones won four of five matches at the Hillcrest Invitational on Saturday.
The Cyclones beat Pickens 60-18, Emerald 49-27, Greenville 56-30, and Easley 44-33. Cyclone Ly’Terrence Mills was named Most Outstanding Wrestler after recording four first period pins.
Chester wrestles at Rock Hill (along with York and Westwood) Tuesday and at home Thursday against Union County, Northwestern and Laurens.
Clover gets three wins
The Clover Blue Eagles finished 3-4 at the Newton-Conover Tournament over the weekend.
The Blue Eagles were 2-2 in Friday’s action. They beat Shelby and Crest, but lost to Davie County and St. Stephens. On Saturday they toppled Hibriten, before losing to Mooresville and Newton-Conover.
Blue Eagle grappler Ryan Jones notched his 100th career win over the weekend.