CHESTER – The Chester Cyclones blew through the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets 41-0 to get their first win of the season as the Jackets were shutout for the second straight game.
Both Fort Mill and Chester came into the game looking for their first win of the season, as the Cyclones lost to Providence and the Jackets were shutout by Catawba Ridge a week ago.
Fort Mill struggled on both sides of the ball and had 71 total yards in the game offensively. Chester had 394 total yards of offense, with 370 coming on the ground.
Both the offense and defense equally struggled for the Jackets as Fort Mill couldn’t score and defensively couldn’t keep Chester from scoring. Defensively, the Jackets were more effective than the offense, as Fort Mill picked up just three first downs in the game.
“We have to find some chemistry,” said Fort Mill head coach Rob McNeely. “We have got to get better. We have got to keep drives going offensively. We need some grit and determination offensively. The effort is there. It is a thinking thing and an execution thing.”
Fort Mill’s Michael Threatt was a bright spot for the Jackets rushing for 31 yards and Brandon Elliott had 35 yards on the ground as well.
Chester’s starting quarterback Zan Dunham didn’t play, but that didn’t matter for the Cyclones as they had their way with Fort Mill from the opening kickoff.
Fort Mill showed some promise in the opening quarter in their running game, but struggled to pick up first downs and move the ball with any consistency.
The Jackets’ Threatt was the majority of offense for Fort Mill, but after a while Chester caught on to him. Fort Mill had just seven yards of offense in the opening quarter, while Chester kept the ball on the ground offensively and took advantage of an undersized line for the Jackets.
The Cyclones were able to pound the ball on the ground and went up 14-0 after the opening quarter.
Fort Mill was able to pick up a sneaky first down on a fake punt in the second quarter to get their offense moving on its first series, but that stalled out after one first down. Chester’s defense started pressuring the Jackets more after that first down and forced them to a third and 25 resulting in another Fort Mill punt.
After a productive first quarter, the Cyclones kept the ball on the ground in the second quarter and took advantage of the holes in the Fort Mill line allowing them to get multiple yards nearly every play. Chester’s athleticism showed through in these drives as they made the Jackets miss on multiple tackles often allowing the Cyclones to move the chains.
Chester was able to take a 21-0 lead with about two minutes left on a lengthy 11 play, 66-yard drive for the Cyclones capping off the drive for the home team. The drive was a result of 10 running plays and one pass. Chester had 203 yards on the ground in the first half and 14 total first downs compared to Fort Mill with 27 total yards and one first down in the first half.
Fort Mill’s Elijah Jarrett was able to get something positive for the Jackets picking off a Chester pass with about 15 seconds in the first half stopping the Cyclones drive.
Chester took the opening drive in the third quarter and was able to quickly set up another scoring opportunity, which the Cyclones capitalized on with a 20-yard touchdown run. Fort Mill’s Joshua Sturgeon blocked the extra point for the Jackets.
Fort Mill crossed midfield for the first time in the game on their opening drive of the third quarter with a big run from Elliott. The Jackets put together their best drive of the game as Elliott and Sturgeon powered Fort Mill on the drive which stalled at the 30-yard line of the Cyclones. Sturgeon caught three passes for 12 yards in the game for Fort Mill.
Chester added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to break the 40-point mark. The Jackets are scheduled to take on York next Friday at home as their original game against Indian Land was cancelled because of the coronavirus.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep