Fort Dorchester’s football uniforms might have been best described as stealth in Friday night’s game against rival Summerville. The Patriots unveiled special uniforms for the Region 8-AAAA showdown that included black helmets, black camouflage pants and black jerseys with dark blue numbers and lettering. The numbers were so hard to detect that the Fort PA announcer couldn’t tell most of the Patriots players apart — even with a program.
But in the end, the only number that mattered was 13. The Green Wave’s 24-7 victory in front of about 7,000 fans at Bagwell Stadium was its 13th straight triumph over the Patriots dating back to 2001. The Green Wave leads the all-time series, 21-2.
Summerville upped its record to 5-2, including 1-0 in the region. Coach John McKissick, football’s all-time winningest coach, picked up his 607th career victory. Fort Dorchester fell to 4-3, 0-1.
“It’s always good to get a region win, a win over a rival like this,” McKissick said. “We got really good play from our defense. They’ve done that all year, except for a couple of games. I’m thankful to have this win.”
Fort Dorchester started well. Quarterback Kobe Garrett ripped off a 48-yard run on the first drive of the game to set up Nahshon Cyrus’ 2-yard touchdown run.
But Summerville rallied to take a 10-7 lead at halftime despite Garrett’s 171 total yards in the first half. Jacerie Ponder, the Green Wave’s leading rusher, missed last week’s game against Stratford, but was ready to run Friday night. He broke off a 36-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to tie it at 7.
Fort Dorchester had its chances. The Patriots had a 98-yard drive that ended on downs at the Summerville 1. The Green Wave moved the ball downfield and took a 10-7 lead when David Kennedy kicked a 45-yard field goal.
The Patriots again had the ball at the Green Wave 1 late in the first half, but Bryant’s fade pass was intercepted in the end zone with 5 seconds left on the clock.
The Patriots’ red zone — and turnover — woes continued in the third quarter. The Patriots had first and goal, but on third down, Summerville’s Chad Wood stripped the ball from a running back and outraced everybody for a 95-yard touchdown return with 8:47 left in the third quarter. That pushed the Green Wave’s lead to 17-7.
The Green Wave came right back with another score, converting another turnover into six points. Ponder capped the drive with his second TD of the night, a 5-yard run to give the Green Wave a 24-7 lead.
The three turnovers in three straight possessions left Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad perplexed.
“I don’t know what to say,” LaPrad said. “It’s amazing. We haven’t done that all year, and then we do it tonight. We run up and down the field all night, have a good game plan and then turn the ball over. That five minutes, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”
LaPrad, a longtime assistant coach at Summerville, remained winless against his old team since he took over at Fort Dorchester in 2003.
“They’re a good football team, but it’s like a hex,” LaPrad said. “I just don’t know.”
Summerville 7 3 14 0—0
Fort Dorchester 7 0 0 0—0
Fort Dorchester — Nahshon Cyrus 2 run (Riley Rozanski kick)
Summerville — Jacerie Ponder 36 run (David Kennedy kick)
Summerville — Kennedy 45 FG
Fort Dorchester — Chad Wood 95 fumble recovery (Kennedy kick)
Summerville — Ponder 5 run (Kennedy kick)