Rock Hill grabbed arguably the biggest confidence boosting win of Bubba Pittman’s three years in charge on Friday night, beating York 49-34.
The Cougars (0-1) entered the game ranked 10th in the state in 4A but were unable to slow a dynamic-looking Rock Hill offense.
The Bearcats had dropped four straight games to York, and the Cougars hadn’t lost a season opener under Bobby Carroll. But a 21-point third quarter flipped what was a close contest in Rock Hill’s favor for good.
“Bobby’s got a great team over there and they’re struggling without some key players,” said Pittman. “But for us, it’s huge to get out there and execute offensively. We were a lot crisper tonight than we were last week.”
Dre Robinson completed 20-of-31 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran in a hat-trick of 1-yard touchdowns. Senior Qua Brice was his favorite target, the slot man grabbing eight passes for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns on a night when Rock Hill showed off a dynamic passing game.
“We can play. We can play, baby,” Brice said afterward. “We’re good enough to go with anybody in the state.”
Rock Hill fell behind 7-0 on a 20-yard screen catch and run to the end zone by York’s Jae’vion Matthews, and was behind 13-7 after a pair of Myles Prosser field goals. Brice then caught his first touchdown on a 6-yard slant, before Robinson polished off a nice drive to put the Bearcats in front 21-13 just before the half.
The Bearcats dominated the third quarter, with York glossing the scoreline with two late scores. The 49 points are the most the Bearcats have put on the scoreboard under Pittman.
Rock Hill got the ball first in the second half after deferring the opening kickoff and the Bearcats took advantage. An impressive drive resulted in Robinson’s third 1-yard TD of the night, a two-score Rock Hill lead, and made a difficult proposition for the offensively challenged Cougars that much harder.
Another Rock Hill offensive scoring drive and a Chesia Coleman blocked punt and return for a touchdown then killed the game off before the third quarter had finished.
It was no mystery that York might have a tough time on offense after the late preseason transfer of its starting QB and most dynamic offensive player. Rock Hill succeeded in making certain the Cougars remained largely one dimensional on offense by not allowing much down the field through the air.
Pittman’s team also limited its mistakes, especially in the third quarter when the Bearcats seized control of the contest. After three turnovers and two missed field goals against Blythewood, Friday night’s effort was considerably cleaner for the Bearcats.
“They executed the X’s and O’s, did the little things right and the scoreboard showed it,” Pittman said.
Robinson had a statistically productive outing piloting the Rock Hill offense, accounting for six touchdowns. He was still a little wayward with his passing at times in the first half but created a number of big plays with downfield bombs and also was strong in the running game. The senior was 7-of-9 passing in an excellent second half and didn’t turn the ball over once.
Brice had seven catches for 122 yards at halftime, including a key 29-yard catch on a third down scramble by Robinson. Brice slipped behind the onrushing defenders and Robinson lobbed to him to prolong a drive that culminated in a touchdown.
“Qua’s awesome,” said Pittman. “He understands the game of football, he’s got great hands, and just a competitor. We’re glad we’ve got him.”
Rock Hill safety Chesia Coleman blocked a punt, successfully scooped the ball and scored during the Bearcats’ third quarter blitz of the visitors, and Devardo Williams had 17 tackles for the Bearcats defense.
Matthews stepped up offensively for York. He had three catches for 56 yards in the first half – out of the team’s four catches and 61 yards passing total.
Rock Hill makes the short trip to District Three South Stadium to face rival South Pointe.
“Getting a win under your belt you go in confident in the next game,” said Brice, who transferred to Rock Hill from South Pointe this year. “There should be an edge going into the next game.”
York hosts 4A Union County in its home opener.
Rock Hill 49, York 34
YCHS - Jae’vion Matthews 20 pass from Shandon Cobb (Myles Prosser kick), 2:13
RHHS - Dre Robinson 1 run (Zhenya Deller kick), 00:28
YCHS - Prosser 29-yard field goal, 9:14
YCHS - Prosser 28-yard field goal, 7:29
RHHS - Brice 6 pass from Robinson (Deller kick), 5:59
RHHS - Robinson 1 run (Deller kick), 1:59
RHHS - Robinson 1 run (Deller kick), 9:38
YCHS - Cobb 1 run (Prosser kick), 4:37
RHHS - Brice 26 pass from Robinson (Deller kick), 3:38
RHHS - Chesia Coleman 7-yard blocked punt return (Deller kick), 1:30
RHHS - Kenny Agurs 22 pass from Robinson (Deller kick), 7:26
YCHS - Shaq Harris 31 pass from Cobb (Prosser kick), 4:31
YCHS - Joe Wade 15 pass from Cobb (Prosser kick), 00:14
RUSHING YCHS - Shandon Cobb 21-97; Paul Moore 17-74; Tyquan McCray 19-97; Joe Wade 1-3. RHHS - Narrii Gaither 15-74; Des Buchanan 6-32; Zarrion McClure 4-22; Dre Robinson 7-22; Qua Brice 1-1.
PASSING YCHS - Cobb 24-31-1, 213 yards, 3 TDs. RHHS - Robinson 20-31-0, 390 yards, 3 TDs.
RECEIVING YCHS - Ladarius Allison 4-15; Jae’vion Matthews 8-108; Shaq Harris 4-43. RHHS - Eric Stroud 1-9; Brice 8-148; Kenny Agurs 5-73; Gaither 2-48; Artavious Anthony 1-12; Tay Marks 1-13; Raph Wright 1-37.
RECORDS York 0-1; Rock Hill 1-1.
Friday’s area scores
Rock Hill 49, York 34
South Pointe 24, Nation Ford 10
Northwestern 28, Dorman 7
Fort Mill 40, West Florence 27
Lewisville 24, Blacksburg 22
Clover 19, Forestview (N.C.) 13
Whitmire 26, Great Falls 0
Indian Land 41, Buford 35 (OT)
Chester 54, Franklin Christian 0
*Statewide scores, 3B