High School Football

All he needed was a chance. Now Dutch Fork senior takes over for workhorse tailback

Watch: What RB Jon Hall means for the Dutch Fork offense

Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts and quarterback Ty Olenchuk discusses the impact of Jon Hall as the team's top running back.
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Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts and quarterback Ty Olenchuk discusses the impact of Jon Hall as the team's top running back.

Jon Hall is ready for his big opportunity.

After playing behind Ron Hoff in the Dutch Fork High backfield, Hall will be the go-to running back for the Silver Foxes as they go for their fourth straight Class 5A championship.

“I have been preparing for years for this and this is what I am expecting,” Hall said Friday as high school football practice officially kicked off around South Carolina. “I am going to come out here do my best and do what I always wanted to do.”

Hoff was the Silver Foxes’ workhorse the past three years, but he and his family moved to Katy, Texas, where he will play for the powerhouse Katy High Tigers program.

Hoff rushed for 3,616 yards with 61 total touchdowns in three years despite missing several games as a sophomore. Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts called Hoff the team’s security blanket but says Hall is capable of coming in and doing the job.

“He did everything I wanted him to do and he is a power runner as well as elusive when he needed to be,” Knotts said of Hoff. “Even though I loved to throw the football, it was so easy to turn around and hand it to Ron and know he is going to get positive yardage.

“But John is a very dynamic player and has a lot of explosive speed. He is not the hard-nosed runner Ron was. Jon can do things dynamically than Ron couldn’t.”

Hall’s presence gives the Silver Foxes a speedier back. He runs a 4.41 40-yard dash and returns kickoffs along with Tennessee commit Jalin Hyatt. The senior is starting to get interest from colleges, including North Greenville, The Citadel and Appalachian State.

Hall played in 11 games last season, rushed for 844 yards and was second on the team with 11 rushing touchdowns. He had the team’s longest rush of the season — a 75-yarder against Chapin — and ran more than 100 yards on two different occasions.

“Ron was a big piece for us, but Jon is waiting for his shot and just as good as Ron. He is fast, athletic and was just waiting for his shot. Now’s he got it and is going to prove himself,” Dutch Fork quarterback Ty Olenchuk said. “He is a lot different than Ron and easier to throw to. He can hit the outside and hit a cut. He brings a lot into the passing game.”

Hall and the Silver Foxes will have plenty of eyes on them as they open up the season Aug. 23 against Mallard Creek out of Charlotte, N.C. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

“Not nervous at all,” Hall said. “This was an opportunity I’ve been praying for, so I’m taking full advantage of it.”

Dutch Fork 2019 football schedule

All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted

Aug. 23 vs. Mallard Creek, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Aug. 30 vs. Spring Valley

Sept. 6 at Irmo

Sept. 13 vs. Boiling Springs

Sept. 20 at Blythewood

Sept. 27 at Northwestern

Oct. 4 at Chapin

Oct. 11 vs. River Bluff

Oct. 18 vs. Lexington

Nov. 2 at White Knoll