Hartsville routs Union County 62-27 for 3A title - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

After player dies mid-season, Hartsville routs Union County 62-27 for 3A title

Hartsville Team's tribute to Ronald Rouse, who died in October Hartsville Team's tribute to Ronald Rouse, who died in October
Ronald Rouse (Source: Hartsville Football) Ronald Rouse (Source: Hartsville Football)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WIS) - Playing on the emotion of losing one of their teammates during a game this season,  Hartsville finished an undefeated season and beat Union County 62-27 in the Class 3A state championship Saturday night.

Earlier in the season, Red Foxes lineman Ronald Rouse died after he collapsed on a field during a game. 

Trey Rogers ran for 110 yards and scored five rushing touchdowns and Trey Samuel added 274 yards rushing and two scores.  Rogers had scoring runs of 2, 6, 1, 1 and 10 yards while Samuel scored on runs of 55 and 14 yards to give the Red Foxes (15-0) their first state championship since 1988.

Hartsville finished with 452 yards rushing. The Red Foxes scored on their six first-half possessions and added a 91-yard interception return for a score by Fisher Payne with 10 seconds remaining in the first half to lead 48-20 at the break.

"These kids have been through so much," said Hartsville coach Jeff Calabrese after the game.

"And to bring the joy of a state championship, it's hard to find words.  It's hard not to get emotional.  I'll cry like a baby.  This team is unbelievable.  What a great story."

Keiston Smith threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards and touchdowns of 11 and 9 yards for Union County (9-6). The Yellow Jackets won four playoff games on the road before falling in the final.

It was a return to Williams-Brice Stadium for Union County Coach Steve Tanneyhill, who played Quarterback for the University of South Carolina.

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