By John Turner


In search of its first win of the season, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets hit the road for the second week in a row making the trip to Kershaw County to battle the Lugoff-Elgin Demons in what is always a hostile environment.

Struggles with turnovers led to a 27-14 loss for Fort Mill dropping them to 0-4 on the season.

Like last week, the Jackets took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in hopes of drawing first blood only to have another breakdown on special teams as Jackson Smith’s 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked.  Seizing on the momentum, the Demons drove it 73 yards capped off by a Sky Harter 1-yard touchdown run making it 7-0 with only 1:44 left 1st quarter. 

After a quick three and out by the Jackets’ offense, Lugoff-Elgin mixed the pass and run with Harter and KJ Golden getting the ball inside the Fort Mill 20-yard line.  But penalties cost the Demons as the drive bogged down just outside the Fort Mill 20-yard line.  A 38-yard field goal attempt by Lugoff-Elgin sailed to the right keeping the score 7-0.  However, Fort Mill fumbled the ball on the very first play from scrimmage giving the Demons excellent field position.

Like they did most of the night, penalties cost the Demons another drive as they settled for a 36-yard field attempt.  This time, the kick hooked left and it stayed 7-0 deep into the second quarter.  Fort Mill, once again, fumbled the ball away and this time the Demons would make them pay.  Lugoff-Elgin quarterback Jake Morris hit Golden on a 39-yard touchdown pass with only 1:57 left first half making it 14-0 Demons.

The Yellow Jackets would drive the ball down the field trying to score in the dying moments of the first half but a couple of Isaiah Haynes deep balls were just a tick off mission Jason Moran on one throw and Zach Jennings on another.  The halftime horn sounded with Lugoff-Elgin holding a 14-0 lead in a half where they dominated possession. 

The Demons came out of the halftime locker with a mindset of running the football and that they did as they rode the back of Harter banging their way deep into Fort Mill territory when penalties ended the drive. Lugoff-Elgin was flagged for 26 penalties and 238 yards on the night. 

Fort Mill then went three and out or so it appeared.  At their own 18-yard line, Jackets’ head coach Rob McNeely called for a fake punt and the Jackets picked up the first down by mere inches.  Not wasting any time, Haynes dropped a gorgeous 78-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Dylan Schaefer on the very next play making the score 14-7.  Lugoff-Elgin would again rush their way back down the field, but a Gavin Brandwood interception would end another Demons drive.  Fort Mill then began their final drive of the third quarter getting the ball down to the Lugoff-Elgin 30-yard line as the quarter came to a close.

The Jackets would start the final quarter with a bang as Haynes hit Schaefer once again this time from 30 yards out and the score was tied at 14.  Feeling the game was getting away from them, the Demons jumped on the back of Harter once again marching 68 yards with the drive capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run by Harter.  The PAT was blocked making it 20-14 with 4:28 left. 

Fort Mill would fumble the ball away once again on what appeared to be some bad timing between the backfield players.  A worn-out Yellow Jacket defense couldn’t stand up to the massive Demon offensive line as Harter hit pay dirt again this time from 6-yards out making it 27-14 with only 2:39 to go.  Harter ended up with 235 yards rushing on the night.  Fort Mill refused to give up moving the ball down the field in fairly short order aided by more Lugoff-Elgin penalties.  Haynes was stripped of the ball as he got near the goal line ending any chance Fort Mill had to get back in the game. 

McNeely didn’t pull any punches in a postgame interview stating it’s difficult to win a game turning the ball over four times.  Although proud of the effort of his players, he did emphasize that the team needs to continue to improve on execution. 

Fort Mill is back as home next Friday night as they welcome the York Cougars to Bob Jones Stadium.