Fort Dorchester used a stifling defense and explosive offense to blow past visiting rival Ashley Ridge 70-7 on Friday.
The top-ranked Patriots improved to 8-0 with a 5-0 mark in Region 7-AAAAA, while Ashley Ridge dropped to 5-3 and 3-2.
“This is probably the hardest-working group I’ve ever had and they got fired up for this game,” Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. “They play at a little bit of a different level when they get fired up.”
Patriot quarterback Dakereon Joyner surpassed the 100-yard passing mark and 100-yard rushing mark in the first half while throwing for three touchdowns and running for two more.
Joyner, recently named a finalist for the state Mr. Football award and selected to play in the Shrine Bowl, connected with Raquan Simmons for TD passes of 3 and 31 yards and with Justin Williams for a 28-yard TD pass. Williams was also selected for the Shrine Bowl.
The first score was set up when Patriot defensive lineman James Middleton recovered an Ashley Ridge fumble at the Swamp Fox 24-yard line. It didn’t take long for the Patriots to find the end zone with the 3-yard pass to Simmons.
After a 6-yard TD run from Joyner on the Fort’s next possession, the Patriot defense got in on the scoring. Dazjon Castro made his fourth interception of the season and returned it 35 yards into the end zone for a 21-0 Fort lead at the end of the first quarter.
Drew Parker cushioned the lead early in the second quarter with an 11-yard TD run. After throwing a pair of TD passes, Joyner set up his own 1-yard TD run with a 49-yard run down to the Ashley Ridge 1-yard line. With the seventh consecutive extra-point kick, Fort Dorchester took a 49-0 lead into the third quarter.
Most of the Patriot first-stringers sat out the second half, but the Fort substitutes added a 9-yard TD run by De’Andrae Sabb, a 2-yard TD run by Kalil Jenkins and an 8-yard TD run by Trent Watson.
Ashley Ridge’s sole touchdown came on a 2-yard pass from Matt Duncan to fullback Josh Sharro with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter.
The Swamp Foxes had to play most of the game without their starting tailback as Nick Cunningham was injured on a kick return late in the first quarter and was taken away for medical care. As he was rolled off the field on a stretcher, he did give the crowd the thumbs-up sign.
The Patriots have now outscored their region opponents 332-35 this season.