Foxes win in a thriller
By Coach Jimmy White
The Hartsville Red Foxes took on the defending 2-A State Champions Abbeville and came away with a 28-21 victory at Newberry College this past Friday night. The win avenged a 35-21 loss last year to the Panthers. Both teams battled to the end, displaying the heart of champions. The win ran the Foxes record to 5-1, while Abbeville dropped to 5-1.
The game had an ominous beginning as the Foxes fumbled the ball away in the first series, giving Abbeville the ball on the Foxes 40 yd. line. The defense was able to stop the high powered attack of the Panthers on downs, giving the offense the ball back on the 31 yd. line.
The Foxes drove down the field, scoring on a 5 yd. Tiyon Evans run. A bad snap caused the missed PAT and the Foxes led 6-0. Abbeville had a quick answer as QB Jackson connected with Sanders on a 61 yd. TD pass. The extra point was good giving Abbeville a 7-6 lead. Hartsville moved into Panther territory on the next drive, but a penalty and a sack forced a punt as the first quarter ended.
The second quarter saw both teams suffer penalties that slowed the offenses. The Foxes put together a drive deep into Panther territory that ended with a 10 yd. Collins Bishop touchdown.
The PAT by Caldwell was good and Hartsville took a 13-7 lead into halftime. The second half started with a long kickoff return by the Panthers, setting up a 38 yd. touchdown run by QB Bryce Jackson. With the PAT, Abbeville took a 14-13 lead. It was short lived though as Evans returned the kickoff 92 yds. and Caldwell’s xp, and the Foxes when back on top 20-13.
The Panther’s next drive ended with the Foxes Keshari Pooler interception in the end zone. After a short punt, Abbeville began moving into Red Fox territory. Once again the Red Fox defense came up big as Keyshawn McDonald made a key tackle on a 4th down fake punt.
After the Foxes failed to move the ball, Mike Norris pinned the Panthers back with a great punt. As Abbeville appeared to put a good drive together, McDonald came up big again with an interception on the Hartsville 34 yd. line as the quarter ended. The fourth quarter saw the Foxes get their ground game going, finishing with a 15 yd.
TD run by Lacy Josey. The Foxes then went for two, and Evans converted giving the Foxes a 28-14 lead. Abbeville answered with a long drive that ended with a Junior Rapley 3 yd. touchdown run.
The PAT was good and Hartsville’s lead was cut to 28-21 with 4:55 left in the game. Hartsville was able to run out the clock, coming away with a hard fought victory. The Bizzell’s Offensive Player of the game was Tiyon Evans with 81 yds rushing and a TD. Also, his 92 yd. return for a TD put the Foxes back on top after Abbeville had taken the lead.
The Bizzell’s Defensive Player of the game was Keyshawn McDonald whose interception stopped a Panther drive in Hartsville territory and had a big tackle on a fake punt giving the Foxes the ball at mid-field.
Next week the Foxes travel to Lakewood for a 7:30 match-up to begin the conference schedule. Hope to see you there supporting your Foxes.