Gaffney rallies, beats Dutch Fork to claim 5A title

High School Football

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Gaffney overcame a 12-point fourth quarter deficit and defeated five-time defending champion Dutch Fork on Saturday, 22-19, to win the 5A State Championship.

Quarterback Grayson Loftis connected with Suga Jefferies late in the fourth quarter on a game-winning 40-yard touchdown to seal the three-point victory for the Indians.

Dutch Fork took an early 13-point lead behind two Davin Patterson touchdown runs to go up 13-0. But Loftis found Jefferies on a 47-yard touchdown to cut the Silver Foxes lead to 13-7, which was the halftime score.

Dutch Fork scored again on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Patterson to Antonio Williams to extend its lead to 19-7 in the third quarter.

Gaffney’s rally in the fourth quarter began with a four-yard touchdown run by Tyler Smith at the 11:20 mark followed by the go-ahead score from Loftis to Jefferies with just over three minutes left. The Indians defense held on the rest of the way as Gaffney secured its 18th state title, ending the nationally ranked Silver Foxes 62-game unbeaten streak in the process.

Jefferies finished with seven catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Loftis completed 23 of 35 passes for 248 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Smith paced Gaffney with 107 yards rushing. The Gaffney defense forced two key interceptions.

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