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River Bluff High School Varsity Football falls to Dutch Fork High School 49-9

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Friday, September 15, 2017

7:30 PM

River Bluff High School
Dutch Fork High School

Game Recap

footballDefending 5-A State Champions, Dutch Fork Silver Foxes proved too much to handle for the River Bluff Gators in Friday night’s varsity football action. The Gators knew they would have their hands full as they traveled across the Lake Murray Dam to Dutch Fork High School, but was hoping to improve over last week’s close loss to Dreher.

While River Bluff didn’t plague themselves with costly turnovers or loads of penalty yardage, two areas that have hurt the Gators at times during the season, they simply could not move the ball very effectively against the highly talented Silver Fox defense. The Gators were only able to pick up 140 yards in total offense, 136 of those on the ground, and ended up punting the ball 9 times on 12 possessions.

Dutch Fork was also master of the quick strike big plays. Their three scoring drives in the first half took 12 seconds, 59 seconds, and 7 seconds respectively – a total of 1:18. All three drives also had big plays – a 61 yard run on the first drive, a 46-yard pass on the second, and an 87 yard pass on the third. The second half wasn’t much different, with a total of 3:53 for Dutch Fork’s three 3rd quarter touchdown drives. The Silver Foxes’ athleticism was on full display as they amassed 514 yards on 48 plays.

The Gators had a nice edge in time of possession, but 4 of Dutch Fork’s 7 touchdowns occurred in less than a minute, skewing that stat somewhat.

River Bluff’s record drops to 1-3 with Friday’s loss. The Gators will be back home in The Swamp on Friday, 9/22 for a region match-up against the Bengals of Blythewood High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Box Scores

River Bluff
Dutch Fork

Game Summary


After River Bluff took the opening kick and could only manage a 3-and-out series, Dutch Fork scored on the very first play of their first possession – a 61-yard touchdown run by Bryce Thompson. The extra point was good, giving the Silver Foxes an early 7-0 lead.

That set the tone for the quarter as the Gators had another 3-and-out on their next possession. Dutch Fork, set back from an offensive pass interference penalty, couldn’t move the ball and punted the ball back to River Bluff. Again, River Bluff struggled to gain many positive yards and punted for the third time in a row. This set up another quick strike for Dutch Fork, as Graeson Underwood connected with Gage Zirke for a 46-yard gain, followed by a 5-yard touchdown run by Ron Hoff. Ford Williams’ extra point gave the host Silver Foxes a 14-0 lead.


The Gators finally put together a nice drive, one that actually started in the 1st quarter, on the legs of Antonio Gantt, penetrating inside the Dutch Fork 35. The drive came to an abrupt halt, however, when Braden Walker’s pitch to Jalen Weston ended up on the turf and eventually in the hands of a Dutch Fork defender.

The Silver Foxes couldn’t capitalize, though, when Williams’ field goal attempt missed the mark.

The Gators’ next 2 possessions resulted in 3-and-out punts, bookending another Silver Fox touchdown. This time it only took Dutch Fork 7 seconds after getting the ball to score – a 66-yard touchdown strike from Underwood to Colin Donnelson. Another Williams PAT made the score 21-0 in favor of the Silver Foxes and that’s where it stood at the half.


The third quarter got off to a promising start for the Gators when Austin Glad recovered a fumble caused by Gantt on Dutch Fork’s first play from scrimmage. River Bluff couldn’t take advantage of the momentum swing, though, and turned the ball over on downs.

The Silver Foxes proceeded to take their next three drives and convert them into touchdowns. The first a 5-yard touchdown run by Hoff, the second a 1-yard run by Hoff that was set up by another long pass to Zirke, and the third a 64-yard scamper by Zirke. Williams connected on all extra point attempts and Dutch Fork tacked on another 21 points in the third.
The offensive struggles continued for the Gators, as they could only manage two 3-and-outs on their next 2 turns in the quarter. The score at the end of three was Dutch Fork 42, River Bluff 0.


River Bluff, maintaining possession into the 4th quarter ended up punting the ball away yet again. Walker’s kick, however, pinned the Silver Foxes back inside the 1 yard line. Two plays later, a muffed snap in the end zone gave River Bluff a safety and their first score of the game.

The Gators punted on their next possession and Dutch Fork found the end zone one more time, as Jonathan Hall got in on the scoring action with a 5-yard run to pay dirt. Williams kick was true again and Dutch Fork increased their lead to 49-2.

On the last drive of the game, River Bluff marched down the field and C.J. Sampson, who was integral in moving the Gators downfield, was rewarded with a touchdown carry of 2 yards with 2 seconds on the clock. Coltin Hallman tacked on the extra point. Time expired on the kickoff, and Dutch Fork prevailed over River Bluff 49-9.

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