COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In what may have been considered their toughest test of the season, Dutch Fork struggled to find separation early against South Carolina commit Zacch Pickens and the T.L. Hanna Yellow Jackets.
In the end, the Silver Foxes defense stood tall in the second half keeping the Yellow Jackets out of the end zone to capture their third consecutive Class 5A state title with a 59-20 win.
T.L. Hanna kept things interesting in the first half scoring all of their points in the first half. However, Dutch Fork was able to go into the locker room with a 24-20 lead at the half.
The Silver Foxes made adjustments in the second half which led to 35 unanswered points against the Upper State champion and their third state championship in as many years. The Dutch Fork defense contributed two fumble recoveries for touchdowns from Tyrik McDaniel and Edward Owusu.
Offensively, Gage Zirke led the way for Dutch Fork with five catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. Jalin Hyatt ended the night with five catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Olenchuk was 13-of-22 passing for 294 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Dutch Fork has now won 41 of their last 42 games under head coach Tom Knotts. So far, the Silver Foxes have claimed every Class 5A football championship in South Carolina since its inception back in 2016.