Dillon defeated Hanahan in a Saturday afternoon game here in Dillon. Here is a photo gallery by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald, sponsored in part by Marlboro Electric Cooperative, Inc.
PHOTOS BY JOHNNIE DANIELS/THE DILLON HEALD
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By Lonnie Turner
Dillon’s quarterback Jack Grider threw three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a first round playoff victory over the Hanahan Hawks, 57-20, to advance to a second round meeting with Gilbert on Friday, November 20. It will be the third meeting of the two teams since 2017.
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce was on the receiving end of six Grider passes for 101 yards and two TDs and Nemo Squire closed in on a 1,000 yard rushing season with 220 yards and two more scores to run his totals to 913 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Dillon fell behind early, failing to score on their opening drive that was set up following one of two fumbles forced by the Wildcat kicking team. Taking over at the Hawk 39, three runs by Squire and a penalty had the Cats at the 6-yard line for a first down, but a goal line stand was successful as the Hanahan defense held and a penalty by the Cats stopped the drive. Freshman running back Kevon Rivera broke up the middle for an 86-yard run to the Dillon 4 and two plays later Johnathan Shelton scored on a quarterback sneak put theCats behind.
The lead didn’t last very long as Dillon took the ensuing kickoff and marched 57 yards on six plays to score on the running of Huggins-Bruce and Squire. Grider was successful on the two-point conversion to give the Wildcats an 8-7 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Hanahan, not to be denied, scored on their next possession with a 14-play drive that ended with another quarterback sneak by Shelton to retake the lead, 14-8. It would be the last score by the Hawks until the final play of the game.
The Wildcats scored three touchdowns during the remainder of the second quarter to take a 30-14 lead at intermission and following a few defensive adjustments, the Cats scored three more times in the third quarter while holding Rivera to 62 yards after tallying 120 in the first half. Dillon reserve quarterback, Lucas Hunter, scored his first running touchdown of the season with a12-yard jaunt up the middle with nearly 9 minutes remaining in the game to lead 57-14.
For Hanahan, Shelton connected with Mason Woznac with 4 seconds remaining and the QB was stopped short of the goal line on the 2-point try. The scoreboard clock, which was running non stop for the entire 4th quarter, ended the game.
The Wildcats scored on three big plays in the 22-point 3rd quarter. Squire and George had touchdown runs of 80 and 44 yards and Huggins-Bruce scored on a 77-yard run. Grider had two conversion runs and threw for a third to Squire. Quashod Singleton also added one to give the Cats a 16-14 lead in the second quarter.
BoBo McKinnon also added a touchdown pass from Grider in the second quarter which led to Singleton’s go-ahead two-pointer. Offensively, the Cats had a 407-yard game in addition to Grider’s and Hunter’s 184 yards through the air and with 21 yards on a pair of kickoff returns, the Cats amassed 612 in total yardage.
Leading the defense with 8 tackles apiece were Anthony Grant and Jaylynn Hulon and pitching in with 7 stops were Travon Johnson and Ladarius Ladson. PJ Christian and Avontae Waldon forced fumbles and JQ Cabbagestalk and Waldon had fumble recoveries.
It will be a long trip to Gilbert this week and the team is leaving the field house at approximately 2:50. Happy trails to the Dillon fans and please be very careful during the trip behind the wheel!