In all of his years as a high school football coach, Mark Barnes hadn’t been a part of a game like Friday’s against Dutch Fork.
Sumter turned the ball over seven times and the Silver Foxes turned the miscues into five touchdowns – including three in the first quarter as Dutch Fork scored 33 points on its way to a 47-21 victory at Sumter Memorial Stadium.
Barnes’ squad fell to 4-2 while Dutch Fork (3-2) won its third game in a row.
“You can’t beat anybody turning the ball over as many times as we did, especially as good as they are,” Barnes said. “As strange as it sounds, we did a lot of good things tonight. The problem was they were sandwiched between just seven or eight awful, just awful, plays.”
The first of which was a 59-yard pass from Dutch Fork quarterback Cole Douglas to Austin Connor on the fifth play from scrimmage that resulted in a touchdown.
Then the miscues started. A fumble on Sumter’s first drive inside Dutch Fork territory turned disastrous when Douglas found Ward Hacklen on a swing pass that he broke free on for a big gain, before Douglas punched it in from a yard out.
The cycle the repeated itself as Sumter fumbled on its next possession and another big pass play – from Douglas to Connor again – resulted in a 57-yard score. Douglas threw for 193 yards in the first quarter with 154 going to Connor. He had more than 200 in the first half.
To complete the turnover-and-scoring trifecta, Sumter QB Alec Brumback was intercepted on the next drive by Dylan Oliver who returned it 33 yards for a score.
“It was a recipe for disaster,” Barnes said. “We had no chance to win that game or any game the way we played. I’ve got to do a better job, our coaches have to do a better job and our players have to do a better job.
“We’ve got to find guys that can take care of the football. We’re not going to continue to turn the ball over.”
An inadvertent touch on a punt in the second quarter and another fumble in the fourth produced the other big scores for the Silver Foxes.
Sumter got something going in the second on a 12-play drive that resulted in a 7-yard run from Quintein Anderson to make it 33-7. Anderson added a 2-yard run in the fourth to finish with two scores.