YORK – A depleted Fort Mill Yellow Jackets squad came in to the Cougar Den hurting and left with even more injuries after being ran through by the York Cougars 56-14.
Fort Mill and York came into their game on opposite ends of the spectrum as the Jackets were 1-5 and York was 5-1. Fort Mill has been decimated with injuries as of late as they were without key offensive players in Joshua Sturgeon in addition to Andrew Thompson and Brandon Elliott, both of which has been out for a while. Defensively, Fort Mill was missing a handful of players as well. The Jackets had 29 players dressed for the game. The loss now puts them at 1-6 on the season.
Fort Mill head coach Rob McNeely said he had to give some players hours notice that they were going to be playing with the varsity team.
“We have to keep putting guys in the best situation to be successful and that means getting them more reps in practice,” he said. “We had a lot of guys get ready on short notice. I am proud of the effort they showed.”
Without Sturgeon, Fort Mill relied heavily on Michael Threatt, who ended up rushing the ball for 148 yards on 28 carries. Threatt scored a touchdown for the Jackets on a 70-yard run in the fourth quarter. He then went down with about 2:45 left in the game and needed to be helped off the field.
Fort Mill would score late with less than a minute in the game on a 16-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Isaiah Haynes to Van Piercy.
Fort Mill starting quarterback Kyle Neibch left the game in the second quarter with what appeared to be a rib injury. Fort Mill used defensive end Miller Shouse on offense in the back field as a running back to help take some pressure off Threatt. Shouse ran for 34 yards on seven carries in the game.
For York, quarterback Aiden Davis acted as a field general for the Cougars as he helped orchestrate each drive leading them to several touchdowns. Davis rushed for 96 yards on seven carries and a touchdown and went 4-for-11 with 61 yards passing the ball with two touchdowns. The Cougars had 442 yards of offense with 322 of those coming on the ground from 30 carries.
York took the opening kickoff 80-yards in the second half giving them a starting field position at the Jackets 19-yard line. Davis would then score on a 19-yard run on the first play of the third quarter to make it 35-0 for the Cougars. Fort Mill fumbled on their first series of the third quarter and York’s MeKayle Burris scooped the ball up and scored walking in from nine-yards out. The Cougars would add another touchdown before the end of the quarter to go up 49-0.
In the second quarter, the Cougars were able to again capitalize on Fort Mill by getting the ball back at the 40 on a fake punt from the Jackets that didn’t go as planned. Two plays later David hit RJ Glassgow for a 15-yard touchdown pass to extend the York lead.
Neibch then went down with an injury with about 5:35 left in the first half. He left the field under his own power, but didn’t return for the rest of the game. He was officially 3-for-6 for 13 yards and an interception.
The injury to Neibch happened off an interception. York would take advantage of the turnover and would score with about two minutes left in the first half on a five-yard run.
In the first quarter, York wasted no time moving the ball on their first series, but Fort Mill’s JJ Ogwal stripped the ball and recovered a fumble for the Jackets near midfield. Fort Mill struggled to make anything happen with the ball as they were again forced to punt to end the opening quarter.
The Cougars used their ground game to push Fort Mill up and down the field as the Jackets’ defensive line struggled to contain them. York went to the air towards the end of the drive as Davis connected with Jevon Long for a 15-yard touchdown pass to put the Cougars on the board just over four minutes left in the quarter.
Fort Mill will host a winless Boiling Springs next week for their last home game of the season and then travel to Gaffney Oct. 29 to close the season out.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep