ST. STEPHEN — Dillon got its revenge and then some.
A year ago, Timberland beat Dillon in the Class AA Division I Lower State final on a last-second field goal. This year, the Wildcats made sure it wasn’t that close.
Freshman quarterback Avery McCall threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Dillon past Timberland, 48-13, on Friday night before a standing room only crowd of about 4,000 at Timerbland High School.
The Wildcats (12-1) will play for the Class AA Division I state championship next Friday night in Columbia. The Wolves, who captured the Division I-AA state title a year ago, finished the season at 11-2.
This was the seventh time the Wildcats and Wolves have faced each other in the playoffs with Timerbland’s only win coming last November. But this was a completely different Timberland team, as the Wolves lost 16 starters off of last year’s state championship team.
Dillon returned more than a dozen starters from last season and then added Avery for good measure.
“We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, the kids played hard tonight,” Timberland coach Art Craig said. “We just ran into a very good Dillon team tonight.”
It was all Timberland early on the in the game. The Wolves took the opening kickoff and drove the ball 51 yards for a TD. Austin McKinney capped off the six-play drive with a 12-yard TD run.
“We came out on that first drive and took it right at them,” Craig said. “It looked like it was going to be our night.”
Timberland’s celebration was short-lived as the Wildcats would go on to score the next 48 points of the game.
Anthony Blue tied the game at 7-7 on the Wildcats first possession. Than after forcing a Timberland punt, Pete Ingram returned the kick 86 yards for a TD and a 14-7 lead.
With the Wildcats leading 20-7, the turning point came late in the second half with Timberland driving into Wildcats territory. Timberland quarterback Roderick McCray had just picked up a first down on a 16-yard run when he was hit from behind and fumbled the ball at the Wildcats’ 30-yard line.
Five plays later Avery found Anthony Blue in the right flat for a 16-yard TD pass and a 27-7 advantage with 3.6 seconds left before halftime.
“We score at the end of the half and it’s a one touchdown game going into halftime,” Craig said. “But we fumble and they come down and score right before halftime. That’s a back breaker. That’s a 14-point swing and we could never recover.”
The Wildcats offensive line gave Avery all day to throw the ball. He was rarely pressured and was able to stand in the pocket and throw almost at will against the Wolves secondary.
Avery completed 15 of 23 passes for 263 yards and three TDs. Blue rushed for 109 yards on 20 attempts and caught seven passes for 53 yards. The Wildcats finished with 434 yards of total offense.
Timberland’s offense never got going after their first drive. The Wolves rushed 34 times for 176 yards and two quarterbacks combined to complete four of eight passes for 110 yards.
Dillon1413 7 14—48
Timberland 7 0 0 6—13
T—Austin McKinney 12 run (Shane Carver kick)
D—Anthony Blue 10 run (Tara Grimsley kick)
D—Pete Ingram 86 punt return (Grimsley kick)
D—Anthony Blue 10 pass from Avery McCall (run failed)
D—Blue 16 pass from McCall (Grimsley kick)
DPage 25 pass from McCall (Grimsley kick)
D—McCall 2 run (Grimsley kick)
D—Joe Blue 33 run (Grimsley kick)
T—McKinney 80 pass from M. Gabel (kick failed)
Timberland's Roderick McCray rumbles through Dillon defenders in the teams' match up Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 in St. Stephen. (Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com)×
Roderick McCray and Timberland were stopped by a strong Dillon defense.×
Timberland's Roderick McCray coughs up the ball after a big hit by a Dillon defender in the teams' match up Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 in St. Stephen. (Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com)×
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