SUMMERVILLE — The Summerville Green Wave’s slow-and-steady approach worked for a half, but the top-ranked team in the state would not be denied another region championship.
Fort Dorchester (10-0, 7-0 in Region 7-AAAAA) earned a 34-13 win at Summerville (7-2, 6-1) to clinch the 2017 region championship and top playoff seed. The Patriots will host an at-large team in the first round of the playoffs next week. Summerville will host the fifth-place team from Region 5-AAAAA.
Summerville used a ground attack to chew up yards and keep the ball away from the Patriots’ explosive offense in the first two quarters. The Wave only threw two passes in the first half and trailed by just 7-6 entering the third quarter.
“They had a good game plan and did a good job,” Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. “Everybody thinks we are going to score 60, 70, 80 points every game but nobody can do that.”
The Patriots scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to put all the pressure on the Green Wave. Quarterback Dakereon Joyner connected with senior Justin Williams on touchdown passes of 12 and 27 yards, and rushed for a 2-yard TD to put the Patriots up 27-6 entering the final 12 minutes.
“There was too much mess on the field and we weren’t playing our game so we talked to our kids,” LaPrad said. “You have to just play and take all that emotion out of it. We got back to playing like we normally do and playing our game.”
The Patriots added a 5-yard TD run by sophomore Kalil Jenkins in the first minute of the fourth quarter for a 34-6 lead.
The Fort’s first score came with 7:34 remaining in the second quarter. Jenkins capped a 73-yard drive with a 1-yard run into the end zone.
Summerville answered with a 75-yard drive capped by a 9-yard TD run by quarterback Jonathan Bennett, who gained the final yard with a leap past a defender into the end zone. The extra point failed.
Summerville’s second touchdown came with 5:54 remaining in the fourth. Bennett threw to Shaq Davis for a 27-yard TD throw.
Summerville coach Joe Call said he was proud of the game plan his staff devised, but his team didn’t make enough plays in the second half.
“We usually like to move pretty quick so it was quite an adjustment for us in practice this week,” Call said. “They aren’t used to teams doing that and their defense usually gets stops. We executed it to perfection in the first half, but in the second half we came out and went three-and-out three straight series and you can’t do that.”