Darlington scores for first time, but still loses to South Florence
By Drake Horton
Despite an explosive start, the Darlington Falcons were unable to hold on to the momentum and fell victim to the South Florence Bruins 51-19 on the road at Memorial Stadium this past Thursday night.
“We had almost too fast of a start,” Darlington head coach Raymond Jennings said after the game. “To not getting in the box all season to scoring real quick and early. We, as coaches, want to say, ‘Hey, let’s play 48 (minutes).’ They (South Florence) came back real quick. Momentum was with us for about two minutes.”
After being shut out in the first two games of the season, Darlington came out explosively in the first quarter, scoring its first points of the season as quarterback Deuce Hudson connected first with Daniel Perkins for a 30-yard touchdown and then with Trequan Scott for a 23-yard touchdown on the very next possession.
Up 12-0 on the Bruins, the Falcons were doing something they had not done all season and that was play with the lead. That, unfortunately, did not last long, however, as South Florence rattled off 44 consecutive points to turn the game into a rout.
“We took our foot off the gas, that’s what happened tonight,” Jennings said.
With 7:59 left in the first quarter, South Florence struck for the first time with a 49-yard touchdown pass and that was just the beginning of a 23-point opening quarter for the Bruins.
Three minutes later South Florence scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bruins a 13-12 lead, a lead that they would never relinquish for the rest of the game.
Going from a 12-point lead to down by 1, things got worse for the Falcons as a bad snap on the ensuing possession resulted in a turnover that gave the Bruins a short field on Darlington’s defense.
The defense did the best with what they were dealt and held South Florence to a 23-yard field goal to increase the Bruins’ lead to 16-12, but the damage was already done.
Things got worse for the Falcons on the next drive as Hudson fumbled giving South Florence the ball on Darlington’s 40-yard line. With prime field position the Bruins capitalized, rushing in from 36 yards out as time expired in the opening quarter to push the lead out to 23-12.
“We had some untimely turnovers,” Jennings said.
The second quarter was lackluster as both teams failed to find the endzone which is a compliment to both defenses, but in the third quarter South Florence got back to work on the offensive side of the ball, scoring two more touchdowns.
The first score came on just the third play of the opening drive of the third quarter as South Florence connected on a 60-yard touchdown reception on a busted coverage that extended the Bruins’ lead to 30-12.
Later in the quarter, Hudson fumbled again for the Falcons and the Bruins capitalized once again on this turnover, punching the ball in from two yards out to increase South Florence’s lead to 37-12.
Up big, South Florence continued to pour it on, scoring another touchdown within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to increase the Bruins’ lead to 44-12.
Darlington finally snapped a scoring run of 44 straight points when Perkins executed a perfect pick-six to increase the Falcons’ points total to 19. South Florence answered that score, however, with a seven-yard touchdown run.
Through three games, the Falcons are 0-3 on the year, giving up an average of 56 points per game, while scoring only 6.3 points per game.
Darlington is at home this week, taking on the North Myrtle Beach Chiefs, who the Falcons beat last year for their lone win of the season.
The Hartsville Red Foxes picked up its first win of the season, defeating Fort Mill Friday night 30-13 while the Lamar Silver Foxes dropped a close contest to St. James by 20-12.