For the second week in row, the Dreher Blue Devils had to fight to the end to extend their winning streak.
After a slow start, the Blue Devils outlasted Richland Northeast in a 30-29 overtime bout Friday and stand at 6-1, 2-0. They are The State’s Team of the Week.
“It was really neat. We were down 14-0 in the first quarter and really trying to find ourselves,” coach Treigh Sullivan said. “Once we got on the right track, we just kind of chipped away and chipped away.”
They were down, 20-14, at halftime.
The Cavaliers managed 134 yards on seven completions, but Jalique Tinsley’s second-half interception helped the Blue Devils turn the game around.
“It was a big play for us, because that’s the drive that we actually ended up tying the game on,” Sullivan said.
The Blue Devils finally pulled ahead 23-20 in the fourth quarter.
Getting to the win required an extra effort from quarterback Avery Armstrong, as primary running back Lorenzo Ward sat out with an injury.
“I was trying to not have to run him as much as I did,” Sullivan said. “He’s a true dual threat. He’s capable of it, but every time he runs it, that’s one more hit that he takes. And he can take it, but you don’t want your quarterback to take too many hits.”
Armstrong held up to the challenge. In addition to completing 11 of 17 pass attempts, Armstrong doubled his average rushing production with 186 yards and four touchdowns – the whole of Dreher’s scoring – on 23 carries.
He scored the game-winning touchdown on fourth down from 2 yards out.
Xavier Diamond led the defense with 11 tackles.
Tied with A.C. Flora for the Region 4-3A lead, the Blue Devils have won four consecutive games.
As Dreher prepares to travel to Camden (3-5), Sullivan said he feels good about what the Blue Devils have accomplished, and about what’s next.
“We’ve had two tough region games. You feel good about being able to win those games,” he said. “But we’ve got three region games left, and I think our kids are still hungry.
“We haven’t been 6-1 here, 2-0 in the region, in a long time. There’s a lot of confidence that goes with that, but also they’re pretty grounded.”