If Dutch Fork’s performance Friday night is any indication of things to come, Class 5A is still chasing the Silver Foxes.
Dutch Fork dominated from the outset in a Top 10 showdown with River Bluff to roll to a 48-14 victory and remain unbeaten in its past 33 games, a stretch that dates to the 2017 season.
Coach Tom Knotts thought it was a dominant performance for the first three quarters.
“Every year we go play the toughest games and some of the people here in the Midlands go play a little bit easier schedule,” Knotts said. “We’re proud of our record. We’ve played some tough people and gotten after it pretty good and we didn’t miss a beat. We didn’t have a letdown, which I was worried about.
“This is a pretty big rivalry for us — baseball and school-wise — and the guys, that first half was impressive, just like last year, when that might have been our most impressive performance.”
A season ago, the hype was just as big when these same two teams came in undefeated for a Top 10 matchup and the results were eerily similar. The Silver Foxes scored on their first seven offensive possessions this go-round after scoring on the first eight possessions in a 56-14 victory last year.
Running back Jon Hall got things rolling when he capped a 6-play, 63-yard, 1:31 drive with a 10-yard scamper to give Dutch Fork (7-0-1) a 7-0 lead four minutes into the contest.
Quarterback Ty Olenchuk scored on the next series and his touchdown gave him 97 for his career either passing or throwing, breaking the school record that was previously held by Matt Colburn. Olenchuk later threw for two scores and has accounted for 99 touchdowns in his career.
“It means the world,” Olenchuk said of breaking the touchdown record. “Before I was even going to be a quarterback, my brother said, ‘I’m going to make you a quarterback and you’re going to break all the records at this school.’ It means the world to me I could do that tonight.”
The second quarter was maybe the most dominant of the season for the Silver Foxes. The three scoring drives covered just 7 plays, a total of 196 yards and consumed 2:19 of the clock.
It started with a wide receiver pass. Jalin Hyatt, a Mr. Football finalist and Tennessee commit, caught the lateral from Olenchuk and found a wide-open Elijah Spencer for a 50-yard touchdown score.
Hyatt then did what he does best — he caught touchdown passes covering 37 and 72 yards on the final two first-half possessions for the Silver Foxes to give them a 34-0 lead at the break.
All told, Olenchuk had 217 of his 251 yards passing by the half. Hyatt had all four of his catches for 135 yards and two scores as well.
“We’re nothing to play with. We have a chip on our shoulder to come out here and win a state championship and that’s what we’re going to do,” Hyatt said. “We can get way better. We haven’t hit our peak yet. We had to get our o-line straight. We haven’t hit the peak hit. We’re still grinding and going up that mountain that we need to go to.”
While Dutch Fork was clicking almost at will in the first half, River Bluff punted three times, turned it over on downs once, threw an interception and fumbled on the final play of the half.
“We don’t give up many points,” Knotts said of his unit that is giving up 10 per game. “We’re very small but man, we run around, come underneath blocks, we gang tackle, we strip the ball, we hit. We really played physical tonight. I really couldn’t be prouder of the defense.”
Dutch Fork added touchdown runs of 16 yards by Hall and five yards from AJ Knight to lead 48-0 going into the final quarter.
River Bluff (6-1) avoided the shutout with two fourth quarter scores. Braden Walker, a Shrine Bowl selection, scored on a 17-yard touchdown run before Jackson Stone connected with Austin Outman for a 70-yard scoring strike.
HOW THEY SCORED
DF – Jon Hall 10 run (Graham Newboult kick) 8:00
DF – Ty Olenchuk 2 run (Newboult kick) 1:07
DF – Elijah Spencer 50 pass from Jalin Hyatt (Newboult kick) 9:18
DF – J. Hyatt 35 pass from Olenchuk (run failed) 3:51
DF – J. Hyatt 72 pass from Olenchuk (Newboult kick) 1:45
DF – Hall 16 run (Newboult kick) 9:04
DF – AJ Knight 4 run (Newboult kick) 2:47
RB – Braden Walker 17 run (Brayden Rivers kick) 8:45
RB – Austin Outman 70 pass from Jackson Stone (Rivers kick) 6:33
Rushing: RB: Braden Walker 19-103, Riley Myers 10-28, Thomas Powell 3-18, Jackson Stone 5-0, Austin Glad 1-1. DF: Jon Hall 8-81, Aaron Harrison 5-49, Ty Olenchuk 4-22, AJ Knight 2-10, Jalin Hyatt 1-7 Jarvis Green 2-3, Elijah Chapman 1-2, Marcus Taylor 2-1.
Passing: RB: Stone 7-13-1-120, Myers 1-1-0-4. DF: Olenchuk 12-17-0-251, J. Hyatt 1-1-0-50, Harrison 2-3-1-4.
Receiving: RB: Tyson Trottier 3-38, Kendall Long 2-7, Austin Outman 1-70, Myers 1-6, Jacob Hutto 1-3 DF: Hyatt 4-135, Elijah Spencer 3-81, Hall 3-22, Devin Hyatt 1-46, Dorian Jacobs 1-11, Jarvis Green 3-10.