Fort Dorchester’s football team opened its 2018 football season with wins over Glynn Academy of Brunswick, Ga. and local foe Cane Bay. The Patriots made it three wins against three states with a 31-28 come from behind win over Viera (Florida) at Bagwell Stadium on Friday night.
Junior quarterback De’Andrae Sabb scored four rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner with 22 seconds left in the game to lift the Patriots to the win.
Fort Dorchester improves to 3-0 on the season and has now won 43 of their last 46 games. Viera drops to 0-2 in a game they led for most of the night.
Sabb, who enters the season replacing last year’s Mr. Football Dakereon Joyner, finished the night with 135 yards on the ground.
“He grew up a lot, he did,” Fort Dorchester head coach Steve LaPrad said of his quarterback. “We showed some character there late. We’re a young team. We’ve played three physical football games. It’s been tough but I think this is going to help us going forward.”
The Hawks took the first possession of the game 54 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 19-yard run from Sean Atkins but the Patriots answered with a 60-yard drive, capped by Sabb’s six-yard scoring run with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, Hawks quarterback Bryce Norton hit Shamar Mohr with a short pass and Mohr turned it into a 24-yard touchdown, giving Viera a 14-7 lead.
Viera attempted an onside kick but Fort Dorchester recovered, setting up in great field position. Three plays later, Sabb scored on a 15-yard scamper to tie the game at 14.
Another short pass from Norton to Atkins turned into a 33-yard touchdown and the Hawks led, 21-14 with 8:21 left in the second. Sabb added a one-yard run but the point after was no good, giving Viera a 21-20 lead with 4:57 left. Atkins finished the game with 12 receptions for 155 yards.
“He was hard to tackle,” LaPrad said. “The good ones are hard to tackle. He’s a good player. They are a good football team. We knew that coming into it. Those guys are used to winning. They hurt us a lot on the perimeter but we made some adjustments and did a better job in the second half.”
Late in the half, Viera put together an efficient 84-yard scoring drive. A 36-yard pass connection from Norton to Mohr set the Hawks up at the Fort Dorchester 16. Norton then hit Atkins across the middle of the end zone for a 28-20 halftime lead.
The second half was dictated by the defenses with Fort Dorchester getting a 34-yard field goal from Kobe Shelton to trim the lead to 28-23 late in the third.
The Hawks threatened early in the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on downs but the Patriots could not take advantage.
Viera took over possession with 7:45 left in the game and picked up four first downs to take the clock under two minutes before a Norton pass was intercepted by Jyheim Wilson inside the 20. Wilson returned the pick for a touchdown but the score was nullified with a block in the back during the return.
The Patriots took over on their own 43 and Sabb picked up a first down to the Viera 47 before hitting Chaz Jones with a 31-yard pass connection to the Hawks’ 16-yard line. Sabb converted a third-and-five to the five-yard line and scored the winning touchdown two plays later.
Fort Dorchester will host Wando next week.