PREP FOOTBALL

Hartsville cruises past fumble-prone Knights 48-0

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DALZELL,-- Due to an extreme lack of ball security, the Crestwood High School football team lost to Hartsville 48-0 on Friday at Donald L. Crolley Memorial Stadium.

The Hartsville defense recovered five fumbles, and the Red Foxes also recovered an onside kick.

“Everything that couldn’t have happened, happened,” said Knights head coach Roosevelt Nelson, whose team fell to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in Region VI-4A. “We put our defense into bad field position all game long. I didn’t see one thing I liked out there offensively.”

The teams traded punts to start the game. Following a Hartsville punt that had the Knights starting at their 35-yard line, the Red Fox defense came up huge, scooping up a fumble and returning it 34-yards to the CHS 1. On the next play, Hartsville quarterback A.J. Joyner went in the end zone to make it 7-0 with 6:57 left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hartsville squibbed the kick and recovered it, setting its offense up at the Crestwood 19. On the next play, it would be Joyner again finding the end zone on a 19-yard run to make it 14-0.

Hartsville, which improved to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the region, found the end zone twice in the second quarter, once on a 11-yard Joyner passing touchdown to wide receiver Dashawn Davis, and once on a 3-yard rushing touchdown by running back Tiyon Evans. The Foxes led 28-0 at halftime.

Hartsville continued to build on its lead in the second half through a physical defense and a strong running attack.

The Red Foxes would find the end zone once in the third quarter when Tiyon Evans broke a 44-yard run for a touchdown to give Hartsville a 35-0 lead.

Hartsville found the end zone twice more in the fourth quarter. One was a 14-yard Joyner touchdown pass to tight-end Cole Beasley and one on a 14-yard rushing touchdown from running back Dariyan Pendergrass.

The Knights will play host to archrival Lakewood on Friday. The game will determine who does and doesn’t garner the final two of four spots from the region in the 4A state playoffs.

Lakewood needs a victory to have any chance of making the playoffs. A win by the Knights would secure third place in the region; a loss isn’t a death knell, but it does allow for the possibility of missing the playoffs.

“It’s a very important game,” Nelson said. “It’s a rivalry game so it shouldn’t take much motivation from the coaches for the players. (LHS head coach Larry) Cornelius has done a great job with the program over there and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”