Hartsville rolls past Darlington
By Drake Horton
The COVID-19-shortened football season for both the Hartsville Red Foxes and the Darlington Falcons came to an end Friday night as both squared off on the gridiron for its annual rival game that ended the season.
Going into the game, both teams had been eliminated from playoff contention so both wanted to end the season on a positive note and send their seniors out with a win in their final game of the year.
For the Darlington Falcons, who were celebrating senior night at home, in the Falcons’ Nest it was no better time to attempt to pull off the upset of the year, and for Hartsville, missing the playoffs for first time in over a decade, it was a chance for redemption to an up and down year.
In the end Hartsville got the redemption and Darlington missed out its chance as the Red Foxes won decisively, defeating the Falcons 69-26.
“We’re proud of our kids; we finished off strong and it was important to play well tonight,” Hartsville head coach Jeff Calabrese said after the game.
“We didn’t always play smart and we made a lot of mistakes here and there, but our kids fought really hard and found a way and I’m really happy for them. We will see where it goes from here. We could possibly get an eighth game, it doesn’t look good right now, so we are going to enjoy this and be happy for our seniors and the kids that performed so hard for us all year.”
For Darlington, it was another defeat to wrap up a winless year.
Darlington head coach Raymond Jennings said: “Just tried to challenge them and talk to them about life and where they go from here and where their stamp on this program was. We feel like we are at a pivotal point; we are trying to lay the groundwork for a foundation and they are the ones who have to lay it and take the lumps.”
As has been the case for the entire year, numbers were the main issue for Darlington.
“They knew they were 23, 24 strong going against 67. They knew. It’s something we talked about all week. We just told them to go as hard as they can for as long as they can and never give up.”
The game was rather close to start out with.
Hartsville scored only 13 points in the opening quarter with one of those touchdowns coming as time expired in the first quarter. It was the second quarter where the wheels began to come off for Darlington.
Hartsville put up 28 more points in the second quarter and at the half it was 41-8.
The Red Foxes scored two more touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters, but Darlington also found some offense scoring the most points it had scored this season. The Falcons scored a touchdown in the second and third and two in the fourth.
Darlington finishes the year averaging only 11 points a game offensively while giving up an average of 58 points per game.
Lamar Silver Foxes update
While both Darlington and Hartsville are not going to the playoffs, the Lamar Silver Foxes are region champs and headed to the playoffs to take on Williston-Elko at home this Friday at 7:30.