Dutch Fork is seeking its second straight state title, and here are five key players to watch as the Silver Foxes takes on Hillcrest in Saturday’s Class 4A, Division I state championship game:
SR., QB, 6-3, 195
In preparing for his first season as starter, Fant had the difficult task of connecting with six new Silver Fox receivers, but he has risen to the challenge. Fant has passed for 3,019 yards, completing 191-of-299 attempts with six interceptions. He reads the field well and spreads the ball around – he has completed passes to six receivers most games, and nine receivers have caught touchdown passes. He is comfortable in the pocket behind a solid offensive line and averages 3.2 yards per carry when he keeps the ball.
Sr., kicker, 5-11, 155
Bass is a strong and accurate kicker who has been consistent for the Silver Foxes for four seasons. This year, Bass is averaging 53 yards on kickoffs and 33.9 yards on punts, with a long of 52, helping the Dutch Fork defense get a leg up on opponents. Bass also has been a solid contributor on offense, shortening the Silver Foxes’ field with his field-goal range of 47 yards. He has made 17 of 19 field goal attempts this year, and 72 of 74 extra-point kicks. Bass is the team’s second leading scorer with 123 points.
Sr., RB, 5-8, 198
The Silver Foxes’ primary ballcarrier and leading scorer, Colburn is a heavy-duty back who runs hard, finds gaps and follows his blocks. The Louisville-bound Shrine Bowler has scored 28 touchdowns this season and posted 1,860 all-purpose yards. With fewer than 20 attempts per game, Colburn averages 136 yards, but he has proven he can handle over 30 touches and carry the game. Colburn is a big target for Hillcrest, as he averages 7.1 yards per carry and is key in keeping the chains moving for Dutch Fork.
Sr., LB, 5-11, 190
The Shrine Bowler has shifted from defensive back and now plays the strong side with speed and aggression. Ecton leads the Silver Foxes in tackles, with 103. And he’s just as good at getting his hands on the ball as he is getting to ball carriers. Ecton has made three fumble recoveries, with returns of 75 yards, three interceptions and blocked three kicks. A leader on the Dutch Fork defense, Ecton is committed to Georgia Southern.
Jr., DB, 5-9, 165
With six interceptions, and two touchdowns, Benson has been a game-changer for the Silver Foxes. His ability to disrupt the opponents’ passing game keeps the pendulum of momentum swinging in Dutch Fork’s favor. He has broken up five passes. Alongside Jeremy Addison, he has helped secure the defensive backfield, which has allowed 13 passing touchdowns.