Jordan Berry kept catching passes in the first half, and Irmo couldn’t stop Dutch Fork’s second-half rushing attack Friday night.
Berry and Silver Foxes quarterback Derek Olenchuk connected 12 times in the first two quarters, while Dutch Fork kept the ball on the ground in the second half to close out a 34-14 victory over its archrival.
The win made Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts a little more upbeat as the Silver Foxes (3-3) prepare for their region opener at South Aiken.
“When you lose games, you start losing a little bit of confidence,” Knotts said. “It’s good to get a win after two (straight) losses. We lost some of our swagger, but we’re going to get a little of it back, and we’re going to roll in the region.”
Olenchuk completed 28 of 33 passes for 245 yards with one interception, most of it in the first half. The Silver Foxes’ rushers posted 252 yards, most of it coming in the second half.
“We did some not-so-good things in the first half and it showed,” Yellow Jackets coach Bob Hanna said.
“Some of our kids are growing up, and they’re going to be football players. We just need to go back to work and get ready for region play next week.”
Bryce Fashaw produced the bulk of Irmo’s offense, leading all rushers with 181 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. But most of his yardage came late in the second quarter and early in the third.
Dutch Fork’s defense limited the Yellow Jackets (2-4) to 13 yards for most of the first half, while Berry and Olenchuk led the offense up and down the field at will.
The Silver Foxes cashed in on a 12-play, 65-yard drive to open the game, capped by Trey Gregg’s 1-yard touchdown run with 7:31 to go in the first quarter. Olenchuk connected with Berry twice on that drive for a pair of 11-yard gains.
The two found each other four more times on Dutch Fork’s second possession: a 10-play, 74-yard drive. Berry’s four catches tallied 50 yards and set up Walter Roberson’s 2-yard scoring run with 2:22 to go in the period.
After a long drive died at the Irmo 12, Dutch Fork made it 20-0 on Gregg’s 3-yard run with 3:12 left in the second.
The Yellow Jackets were light on offensive production until Fashaw took the ball. Fashaw sprung for a 45-yard touchdown run to get Irmo on the board and make it 20-7 at halftime.
“We thought we could spread it out and throw it,” Knotts said. “A couple of things happened and we got a little conservative, but we controlled the game for the most part.”
Fashaw powered an Irmo scoring drive early in the second half, scampering in from 37 yards out with 6:07 left in the third to cut the Silver Foxes’ lead to 20-14.
That’s as close as the Yellow Jackets could get. Dutch Fork cranked up time-chewing ground drives in the third and fourth quarter, with scores from Roberson in the third and Gregg in the fourth to put the game away.
D – Gregg 1 run (Bass kick) 7:31
D – Roberson 2 run (kick failed) 3:22
D – Gregg 3 run (Bass kick) 3:12
I – Fashaw 45 run (Lewis kick) 1:32
I – Fashaw 37 run (Lewis kick) 6:07
D – Roberson 7 run (Bass kick) :40
D – Gregg 1 run (Bass kick) 4:40