Two things were clear from the start of the second round, Class 4A-Division I playoff game at Dutch Fork on Friday.
First, that Boiling Springs’ offense could match the host Silver Foxes stride-for-stride
Second, that turnovers could be the deciding factor.
Only in the second quarter did it become clear how viciously and consistently the Dutch Fork defense could hold back the Bulldogs.
The Silver Foxes bullied Boiling Springs to win 63-28 and advance to Friday’s semifinals.
“A couple of years ago, we thought this would be our chance to break through,” coach Tom Knotts said of the Silver Foxes, who reach the third round for the second time in school history.
“(The Bulldogs) were a great match up for us,” he said. “They weren’t real consistent but they made a lot of big plays when they had to. Now we just want to correct our mistakes and move on.”
The Silver Foxes fumbled the opening kickoff, but the defense responded by holding Boiling Springs to three-and-out on the ensuing drive. When the Bulldogs’ punt rolled out of bounds at the Dutch Fork 8-yard line, it seemed the Silver Foxes would have an uphill battle. But on the first play from scrimmage, sophomore sensation Matt Colburn electrified the Silver Foxes, breaking a tackle at the 15 and rolling 46 yards, into Boiling Springs territory. Dutch Fork completed the drive two plays later, with Jordan Berry nabbing a 39-yard touchdown pass.
Boiling Springs’ Tre-shaun Sanderlin answered with a 37-yard rumble into the end zone two minutes later to tie the score.
On their next drive, the Silver Foxes gave up an interception and short return that set the Bulldogs up with a 24-yard field and eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. Only 50 seconds passed before quarterback Tyrecous Garrett completed the drive to put Boiling Springs ahead 14-7.
At 5:57, Dutch Fork responded, this time with Berry pulling down a 34-yard pass from Derek Olenchuk, and Tyler Bass’ kick was good to tie the score for the second time.
Facing third and-9 late in the quarter, the Silver Foxes again looked to Berry on the long ball with a catch that put the Silver Foxes at the Boiling Springs 30. Colburn advanced Dutch Fork 25 yards on consecutive carries to close the quarter.
On the first play of the second period, Derek Olenchuk hit senior Trey Gregg from five yards out, putting Dutch Fork back in front.
Just before the break, a 2-yard run from Colburn gave the Silver Foxes a three-touchdown lead, and the Bulldogs would never recover.
“We just knew we had to go hard on offense, and then when we were up, coach Knotts said don’t let up, and keep them down,” Berry said.
In the half, Dutch Fork had 17 first downs to Boiling Springs’ eight, converted five of six third downs to the Bulldogs’ 2-of-6 rate, and had piled up 365 yards while allowing 217. Colburn had 146 yards rushing in the half, and Berry had 169 yards receiving.
“We got beat tonight. We got beat by a better team,” said Bulldogs coach Bruce Clark. “We couldn’t stop them.”
D: Jordan Berry 39 pass from Derek Olenchuk (Tyler Bass kick)
B: Tre-shaun Sanderlin 37 run (Asa Brown kick)
B: Tyrecous Garret 14 run (Brown kick)
D: Berry 34 pass from Olenchuk (Bass kick)
D: Trey Gregg 5 pass from Olenchuk (Bass kick)
D: Gregg 18 run (Bass kick)
D: Matt Colburn 16 run (Bass kick)
B: Sanderlin 85 run (Brown kick)
D: Colburn 2 run (Bass kick)
D: Colburn 36 run (Bass kick)
D: Gregg 14 run (Bass kick)
D: Colburn 13 run (Bass kick)
B: Garrett 10 run (Brown kick)