COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – JD Ballenger ran for two touchdowns and Hillcrest overwhelmed defending champion Dutch Fork 47-17 for its first-ever state title Sunday.
Ballenger had a 67-yarder and added a 3-yard TD in the second half when the Rams (14-1) outscored Dutch Fork 28-0.
Marco Westfield put Hillcrest ahead for good, 19-17, with a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown with 6:17 left in the opening half.
Dutch Fork’s offense managed only 38 yards after halftime without quarterback Tate Fant, who left with a concussion.
Hillcrest only had two playoff wins in their 56-year history before marching to the title with a 4-0 run through the playoffs.
Stephen Davis scored on a 45-yard run and Dominique Benson returned an interception 23 yards for a score for Dutch Fork (12-3), which led 17-6 before Hillcrest took control.
Brian Spurgeon returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
In other state title action, South Pointe defeated previously unbeaten Hartsville 21-7 to win the 3A state championship. Greg Ruff threw three touchdown passes to lead South Pointe to its third state championship in nine years of playing varsity football.
The 4A Division II title goes to Spartanburg, a 49-28 winner over York. Head coach Chris Miller won four championships as the head coach at Byrnes, but this is his first at Spartanburg.