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Dutch Fork nips Dorman, 34-31, in overtime to claim AAAAA title

Columbia – They run it over and over in practice all season long. So it came as no surprise when, in overtime of the Class AAAAA state championship game against Dorman, the Dutch Fork Silver Foxes went to “the fade” with senior quarterback Ty Olenchuk and senior receiver Jalin Hyatt.

On second down from the 10-yard line, Olenchuk lofted a perfect throw towards the end zone, allowing Hyatt to run under it and secure the ball before going out of bounds. The touchdown sealed a 34-31 win and gave Dutch Fork its fourth consecutive state title.

Dutch Fork finishes the season at 14-0-1 while Dorman ends with a 14-1 record.

“Those two have been fantastic forever so I just wanted to put the ball in their hands,” Dutch Fork head coach Tom Knotts said. “It’s something we do every day in practice so we feel good about throwing the fades. We were going to do it every down, and if it didn’t work, we would kick a field goal.”

The winning score came after the Dutch Fork defense forced Dorman to settle for a field goal after advancing to the three-yard line.

Olenchuk and Hyatt combined for three touchdowns in the game, including an 80-yard pass and run on the first play of the game. A seven-yard connection gave Dutch Fork a 14-0 lead with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter.

“We made more mistakes in this game than we’ve made all season but Dutch Fork probably had a lot to do with that,” Dorman head coach Dave Gutshall said. “The situation in the first quarter maybe overwhelmed us. I thought we played nervous early and I was a little worried about that. We figured it would be a barn burner and it ended up being that. I just hate that we lost.”

Dorman battled back with a touchdown late in the first period on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Hayden Lee to tight end Nathan Storch. The Cavaliers tied the game on Lee’s 13-yard run with five minutes left in the first half.

A 53-yard pass from Lee to Kendall Norman gave the Cavaliers a 21-14 lead less than two minutes into the third quarter. The Dorman defense settled in and intercepted Olenchuk twice but Olenchuk tied the game with a seven-yard pass to Jon Hall.

Dorman carried a 28-21 lead into the fourth after Lee’s 16-yard scoring pass to Jayvon Cohen.

Dutch Fork then put together a 12-play, 95-yard drive that chewed up 5:20 off the clock. Hall’s 18-yard run tied the game at 28 with 4:16 left in the game.

“Great to see us get punched in the mouth and rally back,” Knotts said. “Dorman has great skill, better than they’ve ever had. They made us look silly a few times out there. It was good to see us rally late and get a few stops.”

Olenchuk admitted he did not play his best game in the finals but finished with 236 yards and four touchdowns.

“I had a bad third quarter and I was down but my teammates picked me up,” said Olenchuk, who will pursue a career in baseball at Clemson. “It’s so special what we have with this team. I am extremely proud of these guys. I will never forget it.”

Hall racked up 189 yards on the ground, finishing the season with 37 touchdowns. He gained 107 yards after halftime.

“Having the ability to run the football was important,” Knotts said. “We got a good one back there and he was big for us again.”

Lee passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns while Cohen had eight receptions for 149 yards.

Dutch Fork finished the game with 447 total yards while Dorman managed 424 total yards but only 36 yards in the fourth quarter.

“We had our chance. We made some mistakes that you can’t make in a state championship,” Gutshall said. “I am so proud of this football team. We’re 14-1 and we get into overtime of the state championship game. For us to go 14-0 and get back here is about as much as we could ask for.”

Dutch Fork will return next season in hopes of becoming the first high school program in state history to win five consecutive state titles.

“Winning four in a row is great,” Knotts said. “We will celebrate and enjoy this until after Christmas and then we will get back to work to see if we can win five in a row.”

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