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Back on the Mountaintop! Dutch Fork dominates Fort Dorchester for state championship

Dutch Fork football’s state championship drought didn’t last long.

Jarvis Green had 290 total yards and four touchdowns as the Silver Foxes dominated Fort Dorchester 47-10 on Saturday to win the Class 5A championship at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

The championship was Dutch Fork’s sixth in the past seven years. The lone exception came last year when the Silver Foxes lost to Gaffney in the final.

Dutch Fork was determined to get back to the championship game and start another streak.

“We got to be a band of brothers for two hours, make it your life’s work right this minute to get this job done and get what I believe is rightfully ours,” head coach Tom Knotts told his team Saturday during a pregame speech.

Winning championships has been a standard at Dutch Fork since Knotts arrived more than a decade ago. The Silver Foxes have appeared in 10 title games in his 13 years. The longtime coach now has 14 state titles, seven at Dutch Fork and seven in North Carolina.

“I think we overcame a lot of obstacles,” Knotts said. “But the one constant was we continued to push them and demand excellence, then hold them accountable.”

Another constant for the Silver Foxes has been the play of Green, who finishes his career as the second leading rusher in school history. The senior had 241 yards rushing, three touchdowns and also caught a TD pass.

The Silver Foxes put up 404 yards in the first half in taking a 26-3 lead.

Green gave the Dutch Fork fans a scare in the first half when he went down with a knee injury. He didn’t miss a series and came back with a 79-yard run on his first play down to the 2-yard line. Quarterback Alaim Appler finished off the drive with a 2-yard run to make it 13-3.

“I wanted to score. I didn’t realize but he knocked me down but then Aliam finished it,” Green said. “That is what it is. This is my brotherhood here and they lifted me up and told me they got my back.”

In the final minutes, Knotts called a timeout so Green could get a curtain call on the end of his high school career. He finished his career with 4,608 yards and 78 rushing touchdowns, both second all-time behind 2014 Mr. Football Matt Colburn, who had a standout career at Wake Forest and played last year in the USFL.

Green is a Mr. Football finalist this year and the award will be handed out next weekend at the Touchstone Energy Bowl.

“I got a little emotional. I cried underneath the tent when they pulled me out at the end of the game,” Green said of that moment.

Appler was 7-of-7 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran it 10 times for 52 yards. Dutch Fork outgained Fort Dorchester, 529-367.

After Dutch Fork stopped Fort Dorchester on a fourth down, the Silver Foxes ran a reverse pass as Appler hit Isaiah Jones on a 68-yard touchdown to make it 19-3 with 6:32 in the second. Jones finished with three catches for 119 yards.

“We have an amazing receiver base, an amazing offensive line so I know I would have time so I had to throw it up and Isaiah did his thing,” Appler said. “This feels amazing. I’m proud of our boys. We balled out. I can’t express my emotions right now.”

Fort Dorchester made it interesting early in the third quarter after freshman Ryan Campbell scored on a 49-yard run to cut the lead to 26-10 with 11:24 in the third.

The Patriots stopped Dutch Fork on its next possession and forced a punt. But the Patriots were called for roughing the punter, allowing the Silver Foxes to keep the ball. Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad argued with referees saying Dutch Fork had 12 men on the field.

““They had 12 guys on the field. The guy counted them and wouldn’t throw the flag,” LaPrad said. “It’s whatever. I didn’t think the game was officiated very well, but that wasn’t the difference in the game. We still got beat.”

Jarvis Green (4) of Dutch Fork carries the ball as he gets wrapped up by Jalen White (36) of Fort Dorchester during the SCHSL Class 5A Football State Championship at Charles W.Johnson Stadium in Columbia, SC on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.
Jarvis Green (4) of Dutch Fork carries the ball as he gets wrapped up by Jalen White (36) of Fort Dorchester during the SCHSL Class 5A Football State Championship at Charles W.Johnson Stadium in Columbia, SC on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

How they scored

1st quarter

DFHS - Jarvis Green 1-yard run (Justin Welch kick failed)

FORT-D - Christian Wilson 22-yard field goal

2nd quarter

DFHS - Aliam Appler 2-yard run (Welch kick)

DFHS - Isaiah Jones 68-yard pass from Aliam Appler (Welch kick failed)

DFHS - Jarvis Green 4-yard run (Welch kick)

3rd quarter

FORT-D - Ryan Campbell 49-yard run (Christian Wilson kick)

DFHS - Jarvis Green 13-yard pass from Aliam Appler (Welch kick)

DFHS - Jarvis Green 18-yard run (Welch kick)

4th quarter

DFHS - Appler 2-yard run (Welch kick)

INDVIDUAL STATISTCS

RUSHING — DF: Green 23-241; Appler 10-52; Lodge 8-48; Anderson 4-4. FD: Reynolds 20-111; Brown 17-95; Campbell 7-80.

PASSING — DF: Appler 7-7-0 179; Green 0-1-0. FD: Osbrone 6-15-0 109.

RECEIVING — DF: Jones 3-119; Green 3-49; Werts 1-11. FD: Snider 4-99; Bailen 1-9; Brown 1-1