Wilson trounces Darlington in region opener
By Drake Horton
The Darlington Falcons opened up region play this past Friday night and like all of its other football games this season, it ended with a loss.
Heading into the game winless, the Falcons left Florence Memorial Stadium the same way, dropping to 0-6 overall, 0-1in the region, losing 55-15 to the Wilson Tigers.
Wilson jumped on the Falcons fast and quick, going up 14-0 by the end of the first quarter thanks in part to the high-flying offense led by quarterback Zayshaun Rice.
His 13-yard touchdown pass and Chris Austin’s one-yard touchdown run got the Tigers going and they did not look back.
With the Tigers leading by two scores, Darlington, which has shown some signs of improvement, answered one of Wilson’s touchdowns with a touchdown of its own, as Chubby Williams rumbled on in on the first play of the second quarter from 10 yards out to make it a 14-7 game.
“We did try to answer a little bit,” Darlington head coach Raymond Jennings said.
That momentum for Darlington following Williams’ touchdown did not last long as Wilson answered on the first play of the following drive as Rice connected with Yavin Smith on a screen that resulted in a 69-yard touchdown.
The Tigers pushed their lead to 35-7 in the second quarter before Darlington scored again, with Williams running in from six yards out this time, but Wilson, determined to not be outdone, finished off the quarter by scoring the final 10 points before half.
Wilson was in such control that the Tigers put in their reserves at the 1:36 mark before the half and the starters never came back in for the rest of the game.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Wilson did add to its lead in the fourth quarter as the Tigers added 10 more points to their already massive total with another punt return touchdown and another field goal.
Wilson was not shy when it came to scoring.
The Tigers had four passing touchdowns by Rice, two punt return touchdowns, one by Timothy Robinson and the other by Demarcus Bailey, a rushing touchdown by Austin and two field goals, a 33-yarder and a 37-yarder by Vraj Patel.
For the Falcons it was a great sight to see Williams back in the lineup after missing the last two games due to injury. His two rushing touchdowns were the first time this season that Darlington had scored over one touchdown in a game.
“He came back and finished the game and staying healthy is a key for him, trying to keep him downhill,” Jennings said. “He had a couple plays there that allowed us to keep getting first downs, moving and stay on the field.
“Those are the things you have to do if you want to reduce the plays on your defense.”
Numbers once again were a problem for the Falcons.
At the start of the game Darlington dressed out only 25 players, down from one the week before. And by the end of the game, only 21 players were available.
“I’m just proud of them for finishing,” Jennings said. “We stretched with 25 and we had 21 right there. It’s just what it is.”
Unfortunately for the Falcons, things are only going to get harder this week as they travel down to the coast to take on defending 4A champ Myrtle Beach.