Wilson rules second half on way to 48-0 win over Darlington
By Drake Horton
A promising start turned into a bitter end for the Darlington Falcons Friday night at home, losing 48-0 to the Wilson Tigers. “We tried to execute in the first half, but just didn’t,” Darlington head coach Raymond Jennings said after the game. “In the second half it felt like last year so that is what we are going to try to fix.” Coming off a 69-0 loss to Myrtle Beach the week before, Darlington wanted to right the ship in its opening home game and through the first quarter and a half it looked promising for the Falcons. Darlington held Wilson scoreless until 2:25 mark of the second when the Tigers finally connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass and from there it was like the mistakes just started to pile on. Before Wilson’s opening touchdown there were two critical plays that really affected the outcome of the game and both came on the same drive. After getting great field position off a bobbled snap by Wilson, Darlington looked for a quick strike and it appeared to have got it when Deuce Hudson dropped a dime in from 36 yards out to put the Falcons up 6-0. Instead, a penalty for Hudson not having his mouthpiece in negated the touchdown. Disappointed, but still determined, Hudson looked to have connected again two plays later for a long gain all the way down to the Wilson two-yard line, but the officials ruled the defensive back for the Tigers had possession and awarded them the interception in what was a very controversial play. “You can explain stuff away, I’m not here to go in the paper and dog no officials,” Jennings said. “They gave me a good explanation and I had to move on. That play wasn’t the difference in the game. We didn’t play well enough. If they would have gave us that play, we would have still loss. That is water under the bridge. I want to win football games; I don’t want to argue with refs.” The wheels began to come off for Darlington right at the end of the second quarter. Down 6-0, and just seconds left in the half, Hudson, trying to make something out of nothing, ended up turning the ball over and Wilson returned it 50-plus yards for the touchdown with 19 seconds left to go up 13-0. The third quarter was dominated by the Tigers who had two offensive scoring drives of 51 yards and 27 yards while also forcing another turnover and turning it into a 10-yard touchdown. “Defensively the first three outs was 21 points and we just couldn’t put the brake on,” Jennings said. Up 34-0, Wilson added two more touchdowns, a nine-yard and one-yard run the extended the Tigers’ lead to what ended up being the final score of the game. For Darlington, the loss drops the Falcons to 0-2 while also being outscored 117-0 through the first two games of this young and strange season. For Jennings, this was nothing more than a bump in the road of his rebuilding project and he looks forward to the challenge as he said he is going to continue to coach this team until it reaches its full potential. He acknowledges that there are still hurdles to cross on the way to getting where he wants to, but he has seen improvement and that is all he can ask for. Darlington is set to take on South Florence this week, playing a rare Thursday night game on the road. Other scores: Across the county, the Hartsville Red Foxes dropped its second straight game of the season, losing 33-28 while the Lamar Silver Foxes won its opening game of the season 32-3 against the McBee Panthers.