Irmo's offense didn't produce at its normal clip Friday.
The Yellow Jackets' defense was spectacular in a 28-0 victory against Hillcrest in a Class 4A Division I playoff game.
"They had a great defensive front and did a good of stopping us at the line," said Irmo coach Bob Hanna, whose offense totaled 176 yards. "But our defense played a great game. We're a little banged up right now, so we knew our defense was going to have to step up."
That it did.
The Yellow Jackets benefited from good field position most of the night, and the defense made two crucial interceptions, including Jonathan DeTouche's 53-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Hillcrest netted 109 offensive yards.
"Our defense saved us this game," said Irmo quarterback David Olson, who accounted for three of the Yellow Jackets' touchdowns - one rushing and two passing.
Irmo (10-1) took a quick lead when the Rams misplayed the snap on the punt at the end of their opening drive, giving Irmo possession at the Hillcrest 1. Olson punched it in on third fown four minutes into the game.
Despite a big advantage in field position - Irmo began two other drives at its 38- and 40-yard lines in the first quarter - the Yellow Jackets offense clearly suffered from the absence of leading rushing leader Mustafa Greene, who is out with an ankle injury. On five running plays in the first quarter, Irmo gained 5 yards.
In the second quarter, Irmo got its passing game going to extend its lead. Olson hit Mitwain Brown for a 45-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal from the 9. Olson faked a toss-sweep and rolled out to hit tight end Greg Harmon from 7 yards for the touchdown.
"With (leading receiver David) Frazier out, I knew I was going to have to put the ball in some good spots for our backups," Olson said. "I wasn't as comfortable as usual, but I knew we could do it."
Olson was 3-of-3 for 56 yards on the drive, as the Yellow Jackets continued to struggle running the ball.
"Obviously, we're going to have to get the running game back on track, but I feel like Johnny did a good job of pounding it in there," Hanna said of senior running back Johnny Roof, who finished with 19 rushes for 45 yards.
With its offense off, Irmo benefited from a firedup defense. Quazeem Browman and Jordan Kirven made several big hits, and Kirven's interception in the final minute of the first half kept the Rams from chipping away at their two-touchdown.
"We got up by two (touchdowns) and we felt comfortable, so we were just trying to hold some guys out so we can get healthy for next week," Hanna said.
The Yellow Jackets host Dorman in the second round, and both Greene and backup Dawan Scott (knee) may be back.
Hillcrest 0 0 0 0-0
Irmo 7 7 0 14-28
I - David Olson 1 run (Simpson kick), 7:49
I - Greg Harmon 7 pass from Olson (Simpson kick), 8:42
I - Jonathan DeTouche 53 interception return (Simpson kick), 10:02
I - Paris Richardson 7 pass from Olson (Simpson kick), 7:28
First downs 7 6
Rushes-yards 30-41 0-0
Passing 7-68 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 7-0-2 0-0-0
Punts-avg. 0-0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 0-0 0-0
RUSHING-H, Frank McAmis 8-20, Josh Kilgore 2-7, Aaron Davenport 6-3, Quinshaud Hill 3-(-1), Anthony McNeil 2-8, Tony Jones 5-4, Terrell Fox 2-13, Marcus Stanton 1-(-12). I, Johnny Roof 19-45, Dawan Scott 3-12.
PASSING-H, Frank McAmis 7-18-2. I, David Olson 5-9-1.
RECEIVING-H, I, Mitwain Brown 1-45, Johnny Roof 1-4, Greg Harmon 1-7, Paris Richardson 2-46.