Dillon quarterback Avery McCall made a proclamation four years ago and you can call him a prophet now.
The senior became the first quarterback to be a starter in four consecutive championship game victories after Dillon defeated Newberry 51-19 Friday night in the Class 2A, Division I state championship at Benedict College.
“This has always been a goal of mine,” McCall said. “I told all the seniors when I was 14 years old I was going to win four state championships. They said I wouldn’t, it would be hard to get two. I did it and it means a whole lot to me.”
The Wildcats have won 37 consecutive games and became the fourth team to win four titles in a row. Christ Church was the last to do it from 2011-2014. It’s the sixth state title for Dillon in the past eight years.
“I knew all year long this was my best football team,” Dillon coach Jackie Hayes said. “We proved it tonight. It was a great effort offensively and defensively and in the kicking game. I’m real happy for the players, coaches and community. They wouldn’t be denied.”
McCall went out in spectacular fashion. He rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, added 126 yards passing and two scores and had a 10-yard reception. His final drive resulted in a 63-yard run followed by a 21-yard scoring burst to cap a two-play, 84-yard drive for the final points of the game.
“What can I say, he can do it all,” Hayes said. “Our (starting) running back went out in the first half and at halftime we decided we were going to run the quarterback in the second half. He made some big plays.”
It didn’t take long for Dillon (14-0) to take control. McCall connected with Jamison Chapman on a 4-yard touchdown. Kanore McKinnon fell on a McCall fumble for the second score before Chapman raced 30 yards to give the Wildcats an early 20-0 lead.
Newberry (11-3) lost for the second straight season in the title game to Dillon. Amir Abrams scored two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Trailing 23-7 at halftime, Newberry had to start the third quarter quickly, but an interception by Dekendric Graves stopped the Bulldogs opening drive. Ten plays later, Zareon Hayes scored on a 1-yard run for the Wildcats. Newberry fumbled the kickoff and Hayes again scored to make it 37-7. The scores came 18 seconds apart.
Avery McCall: The Coastal Carolina bound senior did it all and he’s the most decorated quarterback in state history. He accounted for 246 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He’s the first quarterback to win four state championships.
Jamison Chapman: The senior running back left with an ankle injury in the first half but still finished with 107 yards rushing and touchdowns rushing and receiving.
Yafari Werts: The Newberry quarterback ran for 126 yards and passed for 106 more in his final prep contest.
4: Consecutive state championships by Dillon.
16: Minutes it took Newberry it recorded its first, first down of the game.
37: Consecutive games won by Dillon.
THEY SAID IT
“I said all along if we ever get one, a lot would come later. We ran the gauntlet in 2008 and were able to do it. Our work ethic out of our players is unbelievable and I have the best coaches in the state. When you put that together, good things are going to happen.” — Jackie Hayes, Dillon coach on six titles in eight years
“That’s a good high school football team. We knew that coming in and that we had to play a flawless game. We couldn’t turn it over which we did. That got us out of our game plan. They stopped the run and we’re not a good catch-up team.” — Phil Strickland, Newberry coach
“We graduate 32 seniors and they’ll look back in a few years and understand what they accomplished. We’re headed in the right direction, we just have to keep getting better.” — Strickland
HOW THEY SCORED
D – Jamison Chapman 4 pass from Avery McCall (Drew Covington kick) 6:45
D – Kanore McKinnon fumble recovery in the end zone (kick failed) 11:50
D – Chapman 30 run (Covington kick) 8:40
N – Amir Abrams 3 run (Miquel Luviano kick) 0:35
D – Covington 42 FG 0:00
D - Zareon Hayes 1 run (Covington kick) 7:12
D – Hayes 5 run (Covington kick) 6:54
D – McKinnon 47 pass from McCall (Covington kick) 3:27
N – Zicorious Riley 49 pass from Yafari Werts (run failed) 0:53
D – McCall 21 run (Covington kick) 0:09
N – Abrams 4 run (pass failed) 5:30
Rushing: N – Yafari Werts 17-126, Amir Abrams 17-57, Chris Wadsworth 4-15, Shy Williams 1-3. D – Avery McCall 13-110, Jamison chapman 7-107, Diaz Alexander 8-33, Zareon Hayes 6-30, Austin Moody 3-10, Dae-Shawn Davis 1-(-1), ty’Quan Rogers 1-(-1), Team 1-(-8)
Passing: N – Werts 5-12-2-106. D – McCall 9-13-0-126, Alexander 1-1-0-10.
Receiving: N – Zyearrious Towns 3-51, Zicorious Riley 1-49, Abrams 1-6. D – Kanore McKinnon 3-69, Davis 3-28, Hayes 1-16, McCall 1-10, Alexander 1-9, Chapman 1-4.