Hartsville overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter on the way to a 35-34 win over Richland Northeast Thursday night at Harry Parone Stadium.
The visiting Red Foxes (2-1) trailed 34-21 with 9:06 remaining in the game after RNE’s Gee Gee Greene scored on a 19-yard run around the right side and Daniel Passament added the extra-point kick.
Hartsville then turned the tables in dramatic fashion – scoring 14 points in a span of 23 seconds to take the lead for good with 4:02 to go. Jamie Davis ended the Cavaliers final bid with an interception in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining.
The Red Foxes answered Greene’s scoring run with a 13-play, 69-yard scoring march capped by an 15-yard scoring pass from Shawn Smith to Omar McDaniel at the 4:25 mark of the fourth quarter. McDaniel made a leaping grab in the right corner of the end zone despite tight coverage by the RNE secondary. Craig Anderson’s PAT kick cut the Cavaliers lead to 34-28.
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On the ensuring possession, Hartsville sacked RNE quarterback Kersean Wilson on a third-and-10 play from the Cavaliers 46-yard line. Wilson fumbled on impact. Hartsville’s Domineke Lighty scooped up the ball at the 41 and speed home to tie the score at 4:02. Anderson’s conversion put the Red Foxes ahead.
RNE converted one third down and one fourth down situation to stay in the hunt until Davis closed the door for good.
The Cavaliers (1-1) finished with a 354-272 advantage in offensive yards, but three turnovers and 12 penalties proved costly. Wilson completed 18 of 31 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight was a 75-yard scoring connection with Kenny Upshaw that staked RNE to a 21-20 lead early in the third quarter. Upshaw finished with four catches for 155 yards.
Hartsville did most of its damage on the ground. The Red Foxes rumbled for 215 yards on 45 carries. Fullback Ronnie Jackson gained 65 yards on nine carries and scored one touchdown, wingback Jason Jones had 87 yards and one TD on 10 carries and wingback Dre Scott had 41 yards and one TD on 15 carries.