Dutch Fork is showing no signs of slowing down. It really doesn’t matter who is on the opposing sideline.
Dutch Fork scored on its first eight possessions and ended up with 521 yards of offense in a 56-14 shellacking of River Bluff on Friday night. Ron Hoff scored four touchdowns and Ty Olenchuk threw for three as the Silver Foxes won for the 34th time in their last 35 games.
“We came out sharp and played very well in the first half,” Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts said. “Defense did their normal job, offense did what they normally do so it was pretty solid in all phases of the game. I was glad to see us not let our guard down.”
River Bluff (5-1, 0-1 in Region 5-5A) came in with the best start in school history and ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class 5A and had hopes of slowing the juggernaut of the top-ranked team in the state and the No. 23 team in the country by USA Today.
It didn’t take long for those hopes to be dashed.
Jaylin Hyatt hauled in a one-handed touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone just over a minute into the contest to get Dutch Fork (6-0, 2-0) going.
While the Silver Foxes defense was holding the Gators to 49 yards in the first half, the offense continued to score almost at will.
Graeson Underwood came in after Olenchuk was shaken up and scored on a one-yard run on the next possession. Olenchuk then found Gage Zirke on a 36-yard crossing route on the final play of the first quarter to make it 21-0.
Hoff took over from there. The junior running back scored on runs of 10, 3 and 11 yards to give Dutch Fork a 42-0 halftime lead. He added a 13-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
The teams played even in the second half. River Bluff got a touchdown pass from Michael Rikard to Cleburne Gray and Riley Myers added a rushing score.
“We knew they were a good football team and we want to be in that caliber,” River Bluff coach Blair Hardin said. “We’ll learn and grow from this when we watch (film) on Sunday with our players. These next three region games are going to be tough.”
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. In six games this season, the first-team Dutch Fork defense has allowed seven points. What might even be more impressive is the Silver Foxes have punted only twice in six games. Those numbers have to be scary for everyone in Class 5A.
2. It’s becoming a recurring theme but about the only thing Knotts can find to complain about is penalties on his team. Dutch Fork was whistled for eight against River Bluff. That might become an issue once the playoffs begin.
3. River Bluff still has a chance to compete for a home playoff game. The Gators have to wipe this game from their memory and get ready to compete with Lexington, White Knoll and Chapin for second place in the region.
HOW THEY SCORED
DF – Jalin Hyatt 8 pass from Ty Olenchuk (Graham Newboult kick) 10:38
DF – Graeson Underwood 1 run (Newboult kick) 4:54
DF – Gage Zirke 36 pass from Olenchuk (Newboult kick) 0:00
DF – Ron Hoff 10 run (Newboult kick) 8:12
DF – Hoff 3 run (Newboult kick) 4:50
DF – Hoff 11 run (Newboult kick) 0:42
DF – Hoff 13 pass from Olenchuk (Newboult kick) 3:38
RB – Cleburne Gray 15 pass from Michael Rikard (Coltin Hallman kick) 11:56
DF – Jon Hall 1 run (Newboult kick) 3:31
RB – Riley Myers 11 run (Hallman kick) 0:28
Rushing: DF: Ron Hoff 7-66, Jon Hall 6-25, Ty Olenchuk 4-23, Graeson Underwood 9-49, Kedric Lloyd 1-4. RB: Riley Myers 11-65, Uriah West 2-23, Braden Walker 9-10, Antonio Gantt 3-21, Michael Rikard 1-4, Grayson Gaffney 1-0.
Passing: DF: Olenchuk 20-24-0-339, Underwood 3-3-0-15. RB: Rickard 5-8-0-48
Receiving: DF Gage Zirke 7-119, Jalin Hyatt 5-86, Hoff 4-91, Jordan Springs 2-24, Colin Donelson 2-24, Jon Hall 2-12, Dolin Donelaon 1-13, Jakobe Borner 1-6, Devon Patten 1-3 . RB: Tyson Trottier 2-28, Cleburne Gray 1-15, Da’Mone Spencer 1-3, Feler Wise 1-2.