Dillon is back in familiar territory.
The Wildcats advance to next week’s Class 3A state championship after a 42-7 victory against Brookland-Cayce on Friday night at Dillon Memorial Stadium. It’s Dillon ninth trip to the state finals in the past 10 years.
“It’s hard to believe,” longtime Dillon coach Jackie Hayes said. “The work ethic of our players and coaches is unbelievable. It all boils down to the players. They believe in what we’re doing.”
Dillon will face Chapman in a rematch of last season’s Class 3A title game at 3 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. Chapman stopped the Wildcats streak of four consecutive championships last year.
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“We’ll try to get something we couldn’t get done last year,” Hayes said. “I know we’re playing a tremendous football team in Chapman, but I’ve been there before and won when I shouldn’t and lost when I shouldn’t.”
A sequence just before the half turned the tide for good.
Brookland-Cayce (9-5) had cut the deficit to 14-7 on a 10-yard touchdown scramble by backup quarterback Malachi Brown with 4:21 remaining in the half.
Dillon (14-0) responded with two scores in the final 3:32 to take control for good. The Bearcats attempted an onside kick that the Wildcats recovered at their own 37. Two plays later, Corrian Wright hauled in a 56-yard scoring pass from Jay Lester.
The Bearcats fumbled the ensuing kickoff and three plays later, Wright scored his third touchdown of the half on an 11-yard run to make it 28-7 with 2:00 remaining in the half.
“We’ve been thriving on turnovers all year,” Hayes said. “I thought our defense really stepped up in the playoffs and played exceptionally well. When B-C’s quarterback went out, it hurt what they wanted to do.”
Starting quarterback Reed Charpia injured his ankle in the first quarter and had to depart the game early in the second quarter. Without Charpia under center, Brookland-Cayce had trouble finding its rhythm. The Bearcats finished with 193 yards of total offense with only 53 yards in the second half.
The Bearcats season ended in the lower state championship against Dillon for the second consecutive year.
“We had a good season from where we started to where we ended up,” B-C coach Rusty Charpia said. “There are still a lot of good times for Brookland-Cayce in the future.”
Corrian Wright: The junior scored four touchdowns with three of them coming in the decisive first half. He scored on a 11- and 12-yard runs and a 56-yard reception in the first half and added a 4-yard TD in the third.
Joe Pradubsri: The B-C running back accounted for 119 yards of total offense. He had four carries for 40 yards and added seven receptions for 79 yards.
4: Brookland-Cayce turned it over four times that turned into 21 points for Dillon.
THEY SAID IT
“They were just a little too strong and too powerful for us. Credit goes to them. We knew we had to play a perfect game to beat them and we didn’t.” – BC coach Rusty Charpia
“It looks like the two best teams in 3A are playing each other.” – Charpia
HOW THEY SCORED
D – Zareon Hayes 1 run (Ahmad Dawad kick), 6:24
D – Corrian Wright 11 run (Dawad kick), 8:26
BC – Malachi Brown 10 run (Gabriel Shirah kick), 4:21
D – Wright 56 pass from Jay Lester (Dawad kick), 3:32
D – Wright 12 run (Dawad kick), 2:00
D – Wright 4 run (Dawad kick), 8:09
D – Hayes 1 run (Dawad kick), 11:56
Rushing: BC: Rasheed Taylor 11-17, Reed Charpia 2-(-6), Joe Pradubsri 4-40, Malachi Brown 7-6. H: Jalen Williams 13-92, Jay Lester 4-41, Zareon Hays 3-7, Corrian Wright 8-43.
Passing: BC: Charpia 6-11-1-67, Brown 9-14-1-67. H: Lester 5-6-0-104.
Receiving: BC: Dominick Perry 3-17, Pradubsri 7-79, Daveon Sistrunk 2-12, Keylin Roach 3-21. H: Ty Rogers 1-7, Ahmari Huggins-Bruce 1-25, Wright 2-58, Jackson Hayes 1-14.