A consistent game plan helped the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets take down West Florence 40-27 for their first win as a 5A school.
Historic Memorial Stadium in Florence was the backdrop of Fort Mill’s second game of the season. After missing most of the opening game of the season against Spring Valley, Fort Mill senior quarterback Ryan DeLuca bounced back this week to start for the Jackets despite breaking his pinky finger on his non-throwing hand last week.
The Jackets weren’t able to do anything on their first series, but got a fumble on West Florence’s first series and got the ball to the Knights’ red zone to start. Penalties also hurt Fort Mill as the Jackets were pushed back by West Florence.
DeLuca found senior receiver Thomas Chrisley on a fourth down for an 18-yard touchdown.
West Florence blocked part of a punt and start in good field position with about two minutes left in the opening quarter. The Knights’ Markus Melvin put West Florence on the board with an 11-yard run with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
Fort Mill’s Ronnie Hughes picked off a Knights’ pass with about five minutes left in the first half to give the Jackets some good field position before the half. Hughes then helped move the ball and put the Jackets up by two scores scoring from four-yards out on a run.
A strange play occurred about eight minutes left in the third quarter, as Fort Mill’s Josh Cairns was able to rip the ball out of a West Florence receivers hands and ran 45-yards for a touchdown to extend the Jackets lead.
The Jackets recovered an on-sides kick after scoring their first touchdown getting the ball back at the 25-yard line of the Knights. DeLuca then hit senior Ethan Piercy on the first play from scrimmage to give Fort Mill their second touchdown in just seven seconds.
After allowing West Florence to tie the game at 14, Piercy got his second touchdown of the game catching a nine-yard pass to put Fort Mill ahead again making it 20-14 in favor of the Jackets.
West Florence tied the game at the start of the second quarter as Fort Mill fumbled on the opening play of the second quarter where the Knights picked the ball up and rumbled 31 yards.
The Knights opened the second half with a big boost from Mike Lowery, who returned the kickoff 91 yards to score and put West Florence back in the game.
Fort Mill 40, West Florence 27
FM - Ryan DeLuca 18-yard pass to Thomas Chrisley (Grant Stevens kick); 7:00
FM - DeLuca 25-yard pass to Ethan Piercy (Stevens kick); 6:53
WF - Markus Melvin 11-yard run (Michael Hayes kick); 0:37
WF - Sharrod Simmon 31-yard fumble return (Hayes kick); 11:49
FM - DeLuca nine-yard pass to Piercy (kick blocked); 7:19
FM - Hughes four-yard run (kick failed); 3:35
WF - Mike Lowery 91-yard kickoff return (Hayes kick); 11:46
FM - Josh Cairns 45-yard fumble return (Josh Duffey kick); 7:48
FM - Jackson Randall 15-yard run (Duffey kick); 4:45
WF - Cooper Wallace 12-yard run (conversion failed); 8:23
Rushing Fort Mill: Ryan DeLuca 8-20; Ronnie Hughes 12-57; Shayne Boyle 5-31; Jackson Randall 8-84; Gus Jarosz 3-10.
W. Florence: Ryan Roberts 4-(-15); Markus Melvin 11-64; Malik Eaddy 4-4; Cooper Wallace 7-6; Ashton Rotan 4-17.
Passing Fort Mill: Ryan DeLuca 11-20-0 139.
W. Florence: Ryan Roberts 6-9-1 61; Cooper Wallace 3-7-1 50.
Receiving Fort Mill: Thomas Chrisley 3-30; Ethan Piercy 4-52; Gus Jarosz 2-15; Ronnie Hughes 1-30; Patrick Mead 1-12.
W. Florence: Vick Johnson 9-91; Markus Melvin 1-15; Malik Eaddy 1-4.
Records Fort Mill 1-1, West Florence 0-2.