After a year absence, Dillon is back on top again.
The Wildcats outscored Chapman 34-6 in the second half Saturday to defeat the Panthers 55-27 in the Class 3A football championship game at Williams-Brice Stadium.
It’s the fifth title in last six years for Dillon (15-0) and the seventh for head coach Jackie Hayes, who moves into second place in state history with seven state titles behind the 10 for John McKissick and Willie Varner. Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts has 10 but seven came in North Carolina.
Dillon lost 29-27 to Chapman in last year’s title game.
“When we left here last year, we were devastated because we played our worst game of the year,” Jackie Hayes said. “And we had to have a come to reckoning at halftime. We did some things we told them not to do. We turned it over. We made amends in the second half and I thought our offense exploded in second half.”
Quarterback Jay Lester threw three touchdowns and Ty’quan Porter scored two defensive TDs and also recovered a fumble for a score on offense.
Chapman (14-1) played the second half without quarterback and Mr. Football finalist Colton Bailey, who injured his shoulder in the first half.
The Wildcats capitalized by picking off Mikele Colasurado twice and also recovered two fumbles in the second half.
Lester finished with 240 yards passing, and Ahmari Huggins had four catches for 140 yards and a TD, a 99-yarder to give Dillon a 21-0 lead with 9:09 left in the second quarter.
Chapman rallied and scored 21 straight points to tie it at halftime.
HOW THEY SCORED
D – Porter 74 interception return (Dawod kick), 6:18
D – Wright 34 pass from Lester (kick failed), 0:37
D – Huggins 99 pass from Lester (Rogers rush), 9:09
C – Tucker 16 pass from Bailey (Cothran kick), 7:26
C – Phongsat 30 pass from Bailey (Cothran kick), 1:27
C – Tucker 20 pass from Bailey (Cothran kick), :01
D – Porter 2 run (Dawod kick), 8:29
D – Hayes 15 run (Dawod kick), 5:28
D – Porter 39 fumble recovery (kick failed), 4:52
D – Hayes 23 run (Dawod kick), 11:36
C – Phongsat 4 pass from Colasurdo (kick failed), 9:27
D – Williams 14 pass from Lester (Dawod kick), 7:02
Rushing: D: Hayes 9-82, Williams 22-80, Lester 9-64, Manning 1-14. C: Twitty 24-80, Bailey 10-25, Phongsat 2-22, Adams 1-4
Passing: D: Lester 11-16-1 240. C: Bailey 15-22-1 235, Colasurdo 7-13-2 94
Receiving: D: Huggins 4-140, Rogers 3-18, Wright 2-48, J. Hayes 1-20, Williams 1-4. C: Phongsat 9-126, Tucker 6-104, Adams 5-72, Colasurdo 1-19, Twitty 1-8.