Story by Steven Wise, Photo by Go Flash Me
Last Friday’s game did not go as planned for the Silver Foxes as Patriot quarterback Dakereon Joyner and company forged out a win.
Besides an electric Bryce Thompson kick return for a touchdown to start the game, points were hard to come by early for the Dutch Fork offense. After a Fort Dorchester touchdown drive followed by a pick-six, the Silver Foxes were in a hole early.
Turnovers were a major factor in the loss, as the offense gave up four turnovers, most of which came at pivotal moments. Fort Dorchester capitalized on those turnovers, scoring 21 points off of them. “It starts with just being able to run the ball efficiently and not having any turnovers is going to be big,” said starting quarterback Graeson Underwood, “I think this coming week against Summerville we will have to be better at passing the ball.”
The passing game never really got started against a solid Patriots defense. Underwood finished the game with a 50% completion percentage, with nine completions on 18 attempts. “ I need to be focusing on making the right reads and being more accurate,” Underwood said, “Last week I missed throws that could have resulted in touchdowns.”
After talking about Friday’s matchup as a “revenge game,” Fort Dorchester quarterback Dakareon Joyner utilized both his legs and arm to pick up 245 total yards and 4 touchdowns against an exhausted defense.
The Patriots played ball control football, ending the game with nearly 30 minutes (out of 48) in time of possession. With the defense on the field almost the entire game, fatigue got in the way of stopping the Patriot offense. “With them being on the field so long it made it more difficult,” said senior linebacker Alex Smith, “Usually we are good at red zone defense. The turnovers didn’t help.”
After the game, Coach Knotts made sure to let the team know that he still believes in them. “Knotts was clearly disappointed about the streak being broken,” said center Jacob Hionis, “He knows we can bounce back and still achieve our goal of winning a state championship.”
With a loss to Fort Dorchester, the number 1 overall seed now belongs to the Patriots in the far-too-early playoff picture. It will take two Patriot losses and a clean sweep by the Silver Foxes for Dutch Fork to regain the first seed. This means that if both teams make it to lower state for the second consecutive year, as of now that game will be played at Fort Dorchester high school.
A game against Summerville is waiting for Dutch Fork this Friday, as the team must overcome its first loss since 2015 and get ready to play more winning football. “Last week was a wake up call. Offene, we just have to be better all around,” said senior Bryce Thompson, “The entire offense has to get better except for oline, they played great. Receivers need better connection with the quarterback. We need to be on the same page to win games.”
Dutch Fork’s primary offensive threat Bryce Thompson is used to lining up all over the field. This week, that could come at quarterback. “We are gonna see. If we can’t get the job done and have the right connection between the quarterback we have now TK (Coach Knotts) will make some changes.”
There is no doubt in the player’s minds that they can win state. “We will win state because we are the best team in the state. We will beat Fort D again.”