HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Lower Richland Diamond Hornets used late-game heroics to defeat the Hartsville Red Foxes 20-17 in overtime Friday night. Sophomore quarterback Travis Malloy found tight end Brian Hayes in the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
The Diamond Hornets opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run by Malloy late in the first quarter to take the early lead. The score was set up by a 27-yard "fumblerooksi" run by offensive guard John Jay.
Hartsville drove 63 yards late in the first half to set up a seven-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kenny James. The point-after-touchdown gave the Red Foxes a one-point lead at halftime.
The third quarter featured strong defensive performances from both teams, as no team was able to score. Hartsville appeared to gain the momentum for good when the Red Foxes James connected with Trevor Allen for a touchdown with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
Having knocked starting quarterback Malloy out of the game for the Diamond Hornets, Hartsville appeared to have the advantage as Lower Richland began their final drive at their own 20-yard line. Back-up junior quarterback Michael Bryant led the offense the length of the field, including a clutch third down pass to Sentrell Anderson for 35 yards. Lower Richland was able to score with a little over a minute left on a nine-yard throwback pass from the injured Malloy, who had re-entered the game at halfback, to Bryant. Senior Tyson Furgess hauled in the two-point pass from Malloy to tie the score and send the contest into overtime. Furgess had 100 yards on the ground for the Diamond Hornets on the evening.
Lower Richland won the toss in overtime and elected to defend first. The strategy worked, as the tough Diamond Hornet defense held Hartsville to a field goal. That set the stage for the injured Malloy to once again find the end zone, this time to Hayes.
"This is as satisfying a win as I can remember in all of my years in coaching", said Lower Richland head coach Gary Smallen, a 29-year veteran of coaching. "Our guys really stepped up when they needed to and got the job done. I'm so happy that our players can enjoy the rewards of all of the hard work they've been putting into this football program".
The Diamond Hornets (2-3) will continue their three-game road trip next Friday as they travel to Crestwood. Hartsville (3-2) will travel to Richland Northeast for a Thursday night contest.
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LR 6 0 0 8 6 20
HAR 0 7 0 7 3 17
LR 1:47 Travis Malloy 1-yd. run (PAT Failed)
HAR 0:25 Kenny James 6-yd. run (Varn PAT)
HAR 4:26 Trevor Allen 5-yd. pass from Kenny James (PAT good)
LR 1:15 Michael Bryant 9-yd. pass from Travis Malloy (Malloy to Furgess 2-pt.)
HAR Hubert Moses 25-yard field goal
LR Brian Hayes 4-yd. pass from Travis Malloy
LR Tyson Furgess 13 - 100 yards
HAR C. Bull 20 - 86 yards
LR Travis Malloy 3 - 13 - 0, 33 yards (2 TD's)
HAR Kenny James 14 - 33 - 0, 117 yards (1 TD)
LR Sentrell Anderson 2 - 55 yards
HAR Trevor Allen 6 - 52 yards