A 25-yard field goal by Lancaster sophomore kicker Jacob Cato with 12 second left gave the Bruins a 16-14 win over the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets Thursday night.
The field goal was set up by a 52-yard punt return from senior C.D. Catoe for Lancaster in the closing seconds of the game.
“We are excited about the win,” Lancaster coach Bobby Collins said. “I thought the defense played really well. I am excited for the guys. They did what they were supposed to do.”
With the threat of bad weather looming from Hurricane Hermine crossing through the Carolinas Friday, the Bruins and Jackets moved their game up to Thursday.
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The Bruins were penalized 15 times for 135 yards in the game, but their running game accounted for 298 yards. Fort Mill struggled with turnovers, coughing the ball up five times - losing two of those - and throwing an interception. The visiting Jackets rallied for 14 points in the fourth quarter but fell short.
"The second half was better than the first half," said Fort Mill head coach Ed Susi. "We haven't been able to play for four quarters."
Lancaster scored with 8.5 seconds left in the first quarter when senior defensive back Nigel McCollum intercepted Jackets' quarterback Ryan DeLuca's pass and returned it 35-yards for the score to put the home team up before the end of the quarter.
In the second half, Fort Mill's Ronnie Hughes picked off Lancaster - his third interception in three games this season - to stop the Bruins' third quarter opening drive.
The Jackets’ ensuing drive came up empty, but QB Ryan DeLuca hit Ethan Piercy for a 47-yard touchdown to get them on the board early in the fourth, before Hughes’ 4-yard TD run put Fort Mill in front with about 7 minutes left in the game.
Catoe’s punt return set up Cato’s game-winning kick, and the first-year varsity player coolly knocked the ball through the pipes for the game-winning points.
Fort Mill fumbled the ball away twice in the game and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Lancaster’s Nigel McCullum in the first quarter that gave the Bruins their initial lead in the game. While the fumbles weren’t as critical as the interception, the Lancaster touchdown helped to get the momentum going in the right direction for the Bruins in what would have been an otherwise scoreless game headed into halftime.
Lancaster senior running back Ant Foster took the ball on the Bruins’ first offensive play and ran 73-yards to get deep into Fort Mill red zone and send Susi’s team an early signal. Foster led the Bruins offense with 217 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.
Fort Mill will have its first home game of the season against Orangeburg-Wilkinson, while Lancaster plays Chester.
Lancaster 16, Fort Mill 14
Fort Mill 0;0;0;14- 14
L - Nigel McCollum 35-yard interception return (kick blocked); 00:08
L - Ant Foster 4 run (Jacob Cato kick); 3:06
FM - Ethan Piercy 47 pass from Ryan DeLuca (Grant Stevens kick); 11:12
FM - Ronnie Hughes 4 run (Josh Duffey kick); 7:03
L - Cato 25-yard field goal; 00:12
RUSHING Fort Mill: Ronnie Hughes 12-62; Ryan DeLuca 12-38; Jackson Randall 11-31; Shayne Boyle 1-2. Lancaster: Ant Foster 31-217; Farrika Grier 4-6; Jamias Shropshire 6-72; Jiquan Stover 1-3.
PASSING Fort Mill: Ryan DeLuca 11-19-1, 162; Drew Hartman 0-1-0 0. Lancaster: Jamias Shropshire 6-17-1, 74.
RECEIVING Fort Mill: Shayne Boyle 6-54; Thomas Chrisley 2-36; Ethan Piercy 1-47; Patrick Mead 1-20; Ronnie Hughes 1-5. Lancaster: Cordarius Tinsley 3-46; Desmond Stowers 1-3; Kendrick Shropshire 1-20; Richard Sowell 1-5.
RECORDS Fort Mill 1-2, Lancaster 2-0.