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Dillon High School


Top-ranked Dillon anxious to get back on field after three-week delay

By Billy G. Baker 

Dillon—Head coach Jackie Hayes expressed the word “frustrated” a lot in describing his feelings about what Hurricane Florence has done to the 2018 football season in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
“We have not played a football game in over three weeks and it looks like we will finally get to play at Loris (1-3) this Saturday (Oct. 6) and we are looking forward to getting back on the football field,” said Coach Hayes. “Loris is not returning back to school until Tuesday of this week and they are not allowed to play a football game unless they have had four days of practice. Saturday is the earliest we can play them, and everything is set for Saturday night. 
“What I know about Loris is that they are big and physical,” said Coach Hayes. “We are expecting a tough ball game. We are concerned about the long wait we have had between games.” 
Dillon’s last game was on Sept. 7 resulting in a 41-0 win over county rival Lake View. The Wildcats had an open date on the 14th, the game with Marlboro County slated for the 21st will not be made up and last week’s region game against Marion will be made up in Week 11 of the season which is allowed by a one-week extension of the season granted by the SCHSL.  
Dillon went back to school on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and the Wildcats were hoping to have played at Marion last week. 
“They didn’t go back to school until Thursday and they had not been practicing at all, so it was not even possible to get that region game in.” said Coach Hayes.  “We will play Marion in Week 11 of the season at the end of the regular season.” 
When told that the only thing good about having an extended delay to a football season was being able to get injured players back, Coach Hayes quipped, “You can recover from a heart attack in the time that we have been off.” 
As the head coach of the Sandlapper Shrine Bowl team, Coach Hayes said that if the season should be extended two weeks, and if Dillon were to play for their seventh state title in 8 seasons, he would not be able to coach the Shrine Bowl due to a conflict of both events happening literally at the same time.  
“The one little break we have caught, to sort of even things out some, is that North Carolina has extended their season a week also which means they will have numerous teams playing in their championships the day of the Shrine Bowl,” said Coach Hayes. “When this happened a couple years ago with another Hurricane Matthew I think North Carolina had to replace between 8 and 10 players.”
To date Dillon is 3-0 having defeated Lumberton 49-20 to start the season on Aug. 17. Since then they have defeated Latta 40-0, and Lake View, 41-0.  
The Wildcat offense has been led by talented junior quarterback Jay Lester, who has completed 34 of 48 passes for 545 yards and three touchdowns. The rushing attack has been distributed over seven runners with junior Tyquan King (6-2, 212) averaging 10.9 yards a carry having gained 259 yards on 23 carries and five touchdowns.  One of the nation’s top freshman running backs is Nemo Squires (5-11, 185) who has come out of the varsity gate with 273 net yards on 26 carries and he is averaging 10.5 yards a carry. Squires is already getting a lot of attention from the colleges and he has scored four rushing touchdowns.
Some other running backs include Nigel George who has gained 151 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns and Lester has netted 104 yards on 18 carries and two scores.  
Lester’s top receiving targets are talented sophomore receiver Ahmari Bruce- Huggins with 9 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Bruce-Huggins is averaging 121.7 yards a catch. Speedy Corrian Wright has 9 catches for 160 yards including a touchdown. King has caught five passes for 51 yards coming out of the back field. 
No team can have success without a cohesive hard charging bunch of offensive linemen. One of the top sophomore tackle prospects in the state is fundamentally sound Avery Hewitt (6-3, 281) who wore out a four- star defensive senior defensive lineman from Hartsville in an August scrimmage. Hewitt is also at the top of his class academically and he could have 25 to 30 major college offers by the start of his senior season.  The veteran in the front group is three- year starter Khalil Bethea (6-2, 255) at the other tackle.  
The guards are Rodrick McCrimmon, Antonio Coleman along with center Knox Jack. Malachi Bember is the place- kicker and he has made 12 of 17 PAT attempts. Lester is averaging around 30 yards a punt. 
The Nasty Cats of defense have already pitched two shut-outs in the three games they have played.  They have 8 players leading the way with double digit tackles so far. Linebacker Jadarius McDaniel leads the hit index with 18 total tackles followed by defensive back Isaiah Benjamin with 16 tackles. Wake Forest commitment, and four-star defensive end Shamar McCollum (6-4, 215) has 15 total tackles including a sack and a tipped pass. 
Rounding out the top hitters are Roy Covington with 14 tackles, Shakai Jeanty has 13, along with Tyree Porter who also has 13. Jaziah Evans is contributing with 12 stops and linebacking prospect Dray Thompson rounds out the double-digit Nasty Cats with 10 hits.  TyReek Cabbagestalk has 9 tackles along with Dazion Alford and Travon Johnson who have contributed with 8 tackles each. King sometimes flips to linebacker and he has six tackles and one sack to his credit. 
Against Lake View Lester completed 12 of 17 passes for 127 yards. Squires paced the rushing attack against the Wild Gators with 124 yards on just seven carries and he scored three touchdowns on runs of 74, 16, and one yard. King gained 89 yards on six carries against Lake View and he scored twice on runs of 67 and three yards in the first period. Nigel George rushed for 72 yards on 14 carries with a 28-yard run to his credit.
To date Dillon has out-scored opponents 130 to 20. In three games Dillon has out gained opponents 818 yards to 83 on the ground.  Teams have been averaging 1.2 yards per rush against the storied Nasty Cats. Through the air Dillon has 545 net yards to opponents 233. The Wildcats are averaging 16 yards per catch while opponents are getting 8 yards per reception. 
When taking all yardage gained in account, Dillon has tallied 1,698 yards in three games while opponents have managed only 927. Statistics reveal a lot about the strength of a team and from all accounts the 2018 Dillon team has been dominating so far. 
This week will be their first live action in nearly a month for Dillon, a team very anxious to get on the field.             


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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