Ron Hoff and Bryce Thompson scored two touchdowns each and Dutch Fork's defense thwarted a two-point conversion at the end to seal a 28-27 win over Dorman in the Class 5A state championship.
It marked the second consecutive state championship for Dutch Fork and third in the last five seasons. For head coach Tom Knotts it was his 10th overall.
Hoff scored two first-half touchdowns as Dutch Fork led 14-7. Thompson scored on runs of 72 and 26 yards in the second half as Dutch Fork led 28-21.
But Dorman quarterback Ben Batson found Jacoby Pinkney on a two-yard connection with 19 seconds left. Dorman head coach Dave Gutshall decided to go for the win. Batson slipped a screen pass to John Galotte but Dutch Fork safety Hugh Ryan was there for the stop. One onsides kick and one kneel down later and Dutch Fork was celebrating another title. However, Knotts admitted this may have been the most stressful state championship of his career.
"Yeah it's been a stressful season, losing early made the season stressful," said Knotts.
'You know, we had to work to get better and we got better. We set all our sights on Fort D and then all of a sudden, we beat Fort D and we got a state championship. So, it took a little while for to realize 'Guys, it's a state championship. Let's go.' But I'm real proud of the guys and the staff. The last two weeks have been real special for Dutch Fork football."
The SCHSL moved to five classifications for the 2016 season so the first and second 5A state champion in football is Dutch Fork.
"5A has been in existence two years and we're the champion," Knotts said.
"So, the climb to the top of the hill is hard. But staying there is harder. That's going to be our motto and we're going to stick with it."
For Thompson, it also marked his second consecutive state title. Last fall, he helped Ben Lippen win that program's first state championship in football. After transferring back to Dutch Fork, Thompson immediately became a weapon in all three phases but especially on offense where he was used at running back and receiver. But his two touchdowns runs came with him behind center in the Wildcat. Thompson said his experience in Ben Lippen's overtime win over Porter Gaud for the 2016 state championship helped him in this contest.
"This is exactly how it was at Ben Lippen, almost the exact same score," Thompson said
"I just told them 'stay calm, cool collected and we'll be good. Trust the technique and we'll be good."
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