The impressive Dutch Fork reign over 5A football in South Carolina ended Saturday night with a 22-19 loss to Gaffney in the 5A Championship Game at Benedict College. The Silver Foxes had won the last five state championship games and were unbeaten in their previous 62 games (one tie).
Dutch Fork led the entire game and was up 19-7 going into the fourth quarter. The Indians scored early in the fourth on a four-yard run by Tyler Smith to make it 19-14. After stopping the Silver Foxes on downs at the Indians 30, Gaffney mounted what turned out to be the game winning drive.
Moving mostly on the ground, the Indians drove to the Dutch Fork 40 where on third and 15, quarterback Grayson Loftis whipped a touchdown pass to Suga Jefferies. Loftis passed for a two-point conversion and Gaffney led 22-19 with 3:30 play.
Dutch Fork had one last possession to tie or win. They reached the Gaffney 46 but on second down, quarterback Davin Patterson was sacked for a loss of 11. A third down pass for Antonio Williams was broken up, and on fourth down Patterson hit Jacob Hamilton for 19 yards, two shy of the first down marker.
Gaffney was able to run out the final 1:44 to claim their 17th state championship according to High School League records. The school claims 18.
Loftis passed for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. Jefferies caught both scoring passes and 7 passes overall for 153 yards. Smith added 107 yards on the ground. Patterson passed for 221 yards with Williams catching 12 passes for 155 yards and a score. Jarvis Green rushed for 117 yards.