By Thomas Grant Jr.
A large exhale could be heard from Dutch Fork High School stadium last Friday.
The Silver Foxes finally broke into the win column with the 54-7 rout of Stratford. In snapping the longest losing streak and worst start under head coach Tom Knotts, the defending Class 5A champions had three kick returns for touchdowns.
“Getting a win Friday was certainly a big relief,” Knotts said. “No one in this program had experienced anything like that at Dutch Fork. So….. dealing with the disappointment and frustration of not winning was difficult to cope with. We were glad to get the win, but we certainly realize we still need to play better.”
Dutch Fork still has an uphill climb to back to the heights they are accustomed to residing. Unranked in the South Carolina Prep Football Media poll, the Silver Foxes head on the road to face North Augusta (3-1).
The Yellow Jackets have won two straight games and have a 6-5 series lead over Dutch Fork.
They are led offensively by quarterback Corey Tillman and running back Mike Doe, who rushed for 149 yards and four touchdowns in the 49-40 win over Greenwood.
Dutch Fork has struggled to find its offensive consistency, something which Knotts believes can be corrected with improved play from the offensive line.
Our offensive line is very inexperienced, and we need them to play better,” Knotts said.
“That’ll take care of our issues with both running and throwing the football.”
S.C. Prep Football Media Poll
1. Summerville (17) (3-0)
2. Gaffney (3) (3-1)
3. Lexington (4-0)
4. Hillcrest (4-0)
5. Byrnes (3-1)
6. Sumter (3-1)
7. TL Hanna (3-1)
8. Spartanburg (2-2)
9. (tie) Fort Dorchester (1-1)
9. (tie) JL Mann (4-0)
Others receiving votes: White Knoll, Boiling Springs, Ashley Ridge, Dutch Fork, Rock Hill, Cane Bay