By Worthy Evans
Special to Fort Mill Prep Sports
BLYTHEWOOD – About the only thing in question Thursday night in Blythewood football’s 52-0 victory over Fort Mill was whether the rain bands of Hurricane Ian would reach District Two Stadium.
While steady winds coursed over the ballfield, the rain held off. The Bengals did not in the Region 3-5A opener for both teams.
Harrison Collins had a touchdown pass and two running scores, while David Herden had a two touchdown runs. The Blythewood quarterbacks combined for 177 passing yards, 66 rushing yards, and five scores.
The Bengals defense—which was on the field for just 36 plays—held Fort Mill to 23 total yards in the first half and just two first downs and 52 total yards on the night. The Bengals forced two fumbles that led to Bengal scores, and Edward Robinson had two sacks.
“A great region win,” said Blythewood head coach Jason Seidel. “Last year we didn’t win a region game, and we talked about how much we want to change things.”
In scoring the most points since 2019, The still-young Bengals did so Thursday night by exercising its depth. While Collins and Herden split time under center, eight Bengals carried the ball and six caught passes. The committees of running backs and receivers rolled up 415 yards of total offense, even though Blythewood worked on a short field on five of its 10 possessions.
Seidel said a lot of players saw time on the defensive side of the ball as well.
“When you play that hard in practice all week, you want to have a chance to put them in,” Seidel said. “They got the job done, and it shows you how hard these kids are working. We go four quarters and don’t take a play off.”
Blythewood (4-2) jumped on the scoreboard early when on the opening possession Fort Mill fumbled the ball away. That turnover put the Bengals on the Yellow Jackets’ 19-yard line. Soon after, Collins pushed himself across the goal line four minutes into the game.
Collins hit Anthony Thurman for a 33-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter. Ryan Hart kicked a 33-yard field goal to put Blythewood up 17-0 going into the second quarter.
Herden and Collins finished up short drives in the second quarter with 1-yard touchdown runs. Coming out of the half with a 31-0 lead, Blythewood scored on its opening drive when Deandre Williams burst in from eight yards out. Herden closed the third quarter with another 1-yarder to make it 45-0.
With a running clock in the fourth quarter, Desmond Macklin ran in Blythewood’s final score from five yards out at the 11:05 mark.
Fort Mill turned the ball over on down on the next possession, and the Bengals ran out the clock with a slow drive across midfield.
“That last drive was all new guys, even up front,” Seidel said. “We controlled the ball for four or five minutes and ate the clock.”
The Yellow Jackets have now played six opponents with a combined 26-11 record. Some of their losses have been lopsided and depth has been a problem.
“Just keep fighting, that’s all we can do,” said Fort Mill head coach Rob McNeely. “We’ve got some guys dinged up, starters out, and people in new positions and things like that, but all that stuff is excuses. We’ve got to get them ready to play. Hopefully we’ll get some guys back next week.”
Fort Mill is at Rock Hill Oct. 7. The Jackets had just 52 yards of total offense, 32 of that coming on the ground. They also turned the ball over twice, fumbling each time. Fort Mill drops to 0-6 on the season and 0-1 in region play.