Four unanswered Dillon touchdowns over three quarters brought Brookland-Cayce’s record season to a close.
Down 21-7 at one point, the Wildcats gradually evened the score. and added a pair of touchdowns in a 35-21 victory over the Bearcats to capture the Class 3A Lower State championship.
Dillon (13-1), which won four straight state titles at the 2A level and won six state championships since 2008, will play Chapman for the 3A state championship next Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Brookland-Cayce (12-2) looked to reach the state championship game for the first time since 1966. For a half, the Bearcats were poised to pull off an upset.
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The Wildcats took a 7-0 lead when Brookland-Cayce quarterback Reed Charpia was sacked on the first play from scrimmage and lost the ball. Dillon defender Zareon Hayes pounced on the ball. When the Wildcats took over, Hayes went under center and ran the ball in from 3-yards out.
Brookland-Cayce responded on the next possession, when Charpia connected on a short pass route with Sammy Lykes. Lykes stretched the play to a 55-yard TD play that evened the score at the 8:56 mark.
The Bearcats took a 14-7 lead when Cam Brown scooped up a loose football and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown 2 minutes later.
Both teams exchanged punts until the Bearcats found good fortunate on a wild play.
On first and 10 at the Dillon 28-yard line, Charpia shook off two tackles for loss and found Rasheed Taylor, who ran up to catch a short pass. Taylor caught the ball, spun, ran to the 15-yard line, but fumbled. Luckily, Mike Williams picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone from about 15 yards out for the score.
For a brief time, Brookland-Cayce held a 21-7 lead, but as time went on, the lead would not hold.
Dillon cut the lead to 21-14 with a drive late in the half, then tied the game on Johnny Allen’s 66-yard TD run at the 3:47mark of the third.
Brayden Hawkins’ 30-yard TD pass to Kanore McKinnon, and Jalen Williams’ 20-yard run secured the victory for Dillon.
Down 21-14, Dillon still had trouble with Brookland-Cayce going into the second half. Johnny Allen, who up to that point had three carries for 6 yards, broke free on a 66-yard touchdown scamper at the 3:47 mark of the third quarter. Once the game was tied, the Dillon defense shut down the Bearcats offense and the Wildcats used two fourth-quarter scores to get the win.
Sammy Lykes: The Brookland-Cayce wide receiver and ball carrier had five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown in addition to 28 yards on four carries.
Cam Brown: The Bearcats defender was in on a quarterback sack and then scooped up a loose ball for a 38-yard TD return. That score gave Brookland-Cayce a 14-7 lead.
11: Number of lower/upper state championships Dillon has won in the Jackie Hayes era.
13: Consecutive games in which the Wildcats have scored 30 or more points.
THEY SAID IT
“It was a good game, (Dillon) has a good program from top to bottom. We’re happy to go as far as we did. They played well and they played hard. I’m very proud of our guys, and I need to go over and talk to ‘em.” – Brookland-Cayce coach Rusty Charpia
“It looked a couple of times like our run was going to come to an end. They got a lot of yards, but our defense played great. We’re very fortunate and we’ve got to keep doing what we do. I’m proud of our guys. We’ve got a chance to make state history.” – Dillon coach Jackie Hayes
HOW THEY SCORED
D – Zareon Hayes 3 run (Drew Covington kick) 11:16
B – Sammy Lykes 55 pass from Reed Charpia (Jonathan Edwards kick) 8:56
B – Cam Brown 38 fumble return (Edwards kick) 7:33
B – Mike Williams 15 fumble recovery (Edwards kick 2:41
D – Ty’Quan Porter 12 pass from Brayden Hawkins (Covington kick) 1:19
D – Johnny Allen 66 run (Covington kick) 3:47
D – Kanore McKinnon 30 pass from Hawkins (Covington kick)
D – Jalen Williams 20 run (Covington kick)
Rushing: Dillon –Jalen Williams 15-115, Johnny Allen 7-89, Zareon Hayes 2-4,. Brookland-Cayce –K.J. Adams 5-28, Rasheed Taylor 11-31, Sammy Lykes 4-28, Joe Pradubsri 1-1, Raazhiek Mays 3-9, Reed Charpia 10-20.
Passing: Dillon – Brayden Hawkins 12-15-0. Brookland-Cayce – Reed Charpia 11-21-2.
Receiving: Dillon – Johnny Allen 4-43, Kanore McKinnon 5-46, Thy’Quan Porter 3-23. Brookland-Cayce – Sammy Lykes 5-95, Brandon Carter 1-15, Keylin Roach 2-25, K.J. Adams 1-19, Mike Williams 1-10, Joe Pradubsri.1-(-4)