Watch: Dutch Fork players warm-up shirtless in 45-degree temps
Dutch Fork passed its first road playoff test in five seasons with ease and will have another one next week.
Ron Hoff ran for three touchdowns and Ty Olenchuk had three total TDs as the Silver Foxes defeated West Florence 59-14 in the Class 5A Lower State semifinals at Memorial Stadium. Dutch Fork travels to Summerville next week for the Lower State Championship.
The Silver Foxes, winners of 23 straight games, are looking for their third straight title game trip.
“Life is too short to take things for granted, so I figured these guys would come to play,” Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts said. “This is a nice place to play … the setting is nice. We enjoyed it.”
Dutch Fork (11-0), which hadn’t played a road playoff game since Byrnes in 2013, wasted little time getting going by scoring on its first two possessions. Olenchuk hit Hyatt on a 58-yard pass off a deflection from teammate Gage Zirke to make it 7-0.
The Silver Foxes made it 14-0 on Hoff’s 4-yard run. The junior finished with 178 yards rushing.
“We came here to bust ‘em so we did here what we had to do,” Hoff said. “I ran the ball like I had to do. The o-line and defense did what they had to do tonight.
“It was fun not playing at Dutch Fork and seeing a whole new field and experience and environment.”
As a team, Dutch Fork gained 654 yards of offense. Olenchuk was 13-of-23 for 257 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 35 yards and a score. Backup quarterback Graeson Underwood added 132 yards and two TDs.
The Silver Foxes have scored more than 50 points in every game this season.
Hyatt finished with six catches for 145 yards and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. It is the first time Dutch Fork had two receivers go over the 1,000 yards in same year. Zirke passed that mark earlier this season.
West Florence got on the board first drive of the second half as Aliym Ford scored on a 6-yard run to the cut the lead to 38-7. Ford, the Shrine Bowl running back, was held to 95 yards. He came into the game averaging more than 200 yards.
The Silver Foxes defense stuffed Ford on a pair of fourth down plays deep into Dutch Fork territory. Dutch Fork also picked off quarterback Cooper Wallace twice, once in the end zone late in the second quarter.
“We thought their quarterback and running back would really challenge us, but the defense was up to the task and did their responsibilities,” Knotts said.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
Cold weather didn’t bother Dutch Fork: Silver Foxes players came out in pre-game with no shirts after Knotts teased his squad about his old Independence teams not worrying about the cold. Knotts even took his shirt off for a brief moment with his team.
Dutch Fork needs to trim down on penalties: It didn’t cost them Friday but Dutch Fork had some costly penalties and finished with nine for 123 yards for the game.
Running game gets cranked up: Dutch Fork rushed for a season high 397 yards and could have gone more than that but Knotts said he wanted to get the passing game going in the first half.
HOW THEY SCORED
DF – Hyatt 59 pass from Olenchuk (Newboult kick)
DF – Hoff 4 run (Newboult kick), 7:06
DF – Zirke 24 pass from Olenchuk (Newboult kick), 11:51
DF – Olenchuk 6 run (Newboult kick), 4:36
DF – Hoff 3 run (Newboult kick), 3:09
DF – Newboult 34 FG,:00
WF – Ford 6 run (Hayes kick), 8:53
DF – Hoff 16 run (Newboult kick), 4:15
DF – Underwood 1 run (Newboult kick)
WF – Snyder 15 pass from Wallace (Hayes kick)
Rushing: DF: Hoff 15-178, Olenchuk 5-35, Underwood 8-132, Zirke 1-9, Lloyd 2-16, Williams 1-27. WF: Ford 15-95, Wallace 15-13, Simmon 1-6, Emerson 2-2, Terry 1-2.
Passing: DF: Olenchuk 13-23-1 257. WF: Wallace 19-32-2 208
Receiving: DF: Zirke 5-80, Hyatt 6-145, Hoff 1-6, Spencer 1-26. WF: Simmon 6-34, Wells 5-91, Ford 2-10, Snyder 3-29, Emerson 2-21, Lee 1-23