During the middle of the fourth quarter, a fan in the Dorman stands yelled out for someone to hit No. 31 for Dutch Fork.
Much easier said than done. Matt Colburn, the junior running back for the Silver Foxes, ran through, over and around the Cavaliers for 286 yards and five touchdowns as Dutch Fork hung on for a 42-39 victory Friday night against Dorman.
“It was a thing of beauty,” Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts said. “He throws that head back, he spins, he runs over people and hurts them. He will look as good as any back you see on TV (Saturday). I’m glad we have him for another year after this one.”
Colburn scored on runs of 30, 7, 11, 34 and 23 yards to help lead the Dutch Fork (4-0) offense to 437 yards of offense. Dorman coach Dave Gutshall knew he was going to have to find a way to try and slow Colburn, so the Cavaliers routinely put eight and nine players in the box. But even that did little to slow down the 5-foot-8, 180-pound bruiser.
“We knew coming in that he was a great running back, but we’re so little on defense and they’re so big on the offensive front,” Gutshall said. “We knew we had to score a lot of points. In the second half, they just wore us down. Our defense was exhausted. We had to get as many in the box that we could but even that didn’t help.”
Colburn has averaged more than 200 yards per game on the ground through the first four games. He has 828 yards on the season.
“We knew they would come out to stop the run because that’s our forte,” Colburn said. “I just have to give it to my offensive line. They stayed on blocks until the whistle was blown and being relentless. That gives me extra confidence in my runs.”
Colburn had 103 yards on 11 carries at the half. He had 20 carries for 183 yards after the break. The plan wasn’t to give him so many carries but the backup running back was serving a one-game suspension, so the Silver Foxes kept feeding the ball to Colburn.
The Silver Foxes looked to be in control heading into the fourth quarter They were up 28-10 but saw Dorman score on four consecutive possessions in the final 7:57, including twice in the final minute after the Cavaliers recovered an onside kick.
Colburn scored in the first half on a 30-yard run in which he covered the entire 50 yards of the drive in two plays. He added scoring runs of 7 and 11 yards in the third quarter before adding his final two scores in the fourth quarter to match the Cavaliers’ scoring.
Dutch Fork scored touchdowns on four of five second-half possessions.
“We had plays called but we wanted to run some clock,” Knotts said. “Matt was controlling it and finding gaps and getting first downs so we kept going with him. We’re going to try and keep him healthy. We ran him too many times, so we’re going to work on that but we needed all of them.”
The Cavaliers’ (4-1) comeback was spearheaded by the passing of Grayland Fowler. The senior threw for 312 yards and three scores and added two touchdowns on the ground. His favorite target was junior JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who finished with seven catches for 151 yards and one score.
The outcome was not decided until Dutch Fork quarterback Derek Olenchuk came out of a scrum on the Cavaliers onside kick with 22 seconds remaining in the game.
“We maybe found something offensively,” Gutshall said. “We just need to come out and throw it and forget about running the football.”
The way the game finished is something Knotts understands his team needs to work on if they are going to be a contender once the playoffs roll around. Dorman had 210 of its 361 yards in the final eight minutes.
“We haven’t finished any games strong even though we’ve won games,” Knotts said. “It’s been a struggle for us in the fourth quarter. Maybe I don’t have them in shape and they let up a little bit. They don’t really know how to dig down. We have to find a way to get the oomph if we’re going to beat the Byrnes’, Dorman’s and Northwestern’s of the world.”
DF – Deion Frasier 5 pass from Derek Olenchuk (Tyler Bass kick) 3:55
D – Austin Bobo 32 FG 11:25
DF – Matt Colburn 30 run (Bass kick) 5:47
D – JJ Arcega Whiteside 18 pass from Grayland Fowler (Bobo kick) 2:57
DF – Colburn 7 run (Bass kick) 4:36
DF – Colburn 11 run (Bass kick) 1:34
D – Fowler 5 run (Wyatt Rodgers pass from Fowler) 7:57
DF – Colburn 34 run (bass kick) 6:08
D – Fowler 3 run (Bobo kick) 4:36
DF – Colburn 23 run (Bass kick) 1:54
D – Rodgers 4 pass from Fowler (Bobo kick) 0:59
D- Desmond Geter 35 pass from Fowler (Bobo kick) 0:22