Red Foxes defeat Gators
By Coach Jimmy White
The Hartsville Red Foxes opened the conference part of the schedule with a 41-18 victory over the Lakewood Gators on the road this past Friday night. Coming off a huge win against Abbeville and playing an opponent that has struggled in the past, the situation was ripe for the Foxes to not be on top of their game. As could be expected the Foxes started off playing without passion or focus.
After a frustrating first quarter, the Foxes trailed 12-0 and it could have been worse. The Fox defense forced a 3 and out and then blocked the punt, taking over on the Lakewood 33 yard. line. After a first down the Foxes fumbled, giving the ball back to the Gators on their 24. Behind the running and passing of QB Malik Richardson, the Gators took a 6-0 lead after a 19 yard TD run by Richardson.
The PAT was blocked keeping the score 6-0 at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter. With the Foxes failing to pick up a first down, a bad snap on the punt attempt gave the Gators the ball on the Foxes’ 9 yard line. Two plays later Richardson threw a 5 yard TD pass.
The 2 point conversion was not good and Lakewood led 12-0. The quarter ended with the Foxes driving down to the Lakewood 44 yard line. The second quarter saw the Foxes continue their drive to the 12 yard line where Collins Bishop ran it in to put the Foxes on the board. Caleb Caldwell’s PAT cut the score to 12-7.
The Gators’ next drive, aided by a roughing the punter penalty, moved into Hartsville before the defense held on 27 yard line. With 1:25 left before halftime Tiyon Evans finished the drive with a 16 yard TD run. The PAT was no good, but Hartsville led 13-12 as the half ended. The second half started with the Foxes scoring on a 30 yard TD run on the third play of the drive. Caldwell’s PAT stretched the lead to 20-12.
After the defense forced a punt, the Foxes were on the move again. An A.J. Joyner to Quise Huggins 56 yard pass put the Foxes inside the 10 yard line. A Joyner to Evans 8 yard TD pass put the Foxes on the board again. Caldwell added the PAT and the Foxes led 27-12 at the 6:13 mark. After the defense forced another punt, the Foxes took over at the Gators’ 49 yard line.
On the first play Joyner connected with Dariyan Pendergrass on a perfect throw and catch making it 34-12 with 4:31 still remaining in the third quarter. Both teams could not move the ball as the quarter ended. The very first play of the 4th quarter the Gators’ Richardson connected with DeAndre Mack on a 49 yard TD pass making the score 34-18.
At the 8:11 mark Keyshawn McDonald intercepted Richardson’s pass and the Red Fox offense took over. The Foxes ate up a lot of clock behind some good running by Donovan Lambert. The drive ended as Lambert scored on a 3 yard run. Caldwell’s extra point was good making it 41-18. Shortly after, a Lakewood player suffered an injury and the coaches of both teams agreed to end the game.
The Foxes’ record ran to 6-1, 1-0 in conference play as the were able to win against a much improved Gator team. The Bizzell’s Offensive Player of the game was tackle Lee Prescott, as he led the line blocking that allowed the Foxes to gain 457 yards of offense.
The Bizzell’s Defensive Player of the game was Curtis Thompson whose two bone-jarring tackles turned the momentum in Hartsville’s favor. Next week the Foxes will return home to face Lugoff-Elgin in a big conference game at 7:30. Go out and support the Foxes.