LAKE VIEW, S.C. - Lake View used a powerful rushing attack and a dominating defense to beat Blackville-Hilda 21-6 and capture the Class A Lower State championship Friday night.
Blackville-Hilda (12-2) saw its season end as Lake View advanced to play Lamar on Dec. 7 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia for the state title.
The Wild Gators rushed 47 times for 295 yards in the contest, paced by Vernell Jones' 70 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Blackville-Hilda was held to 137 yards of total offense.
"The line just moved them, and the backs ran hard all night. It was nothing fancy, just straight ahead football," Lake View coach Jewell McLaurin said.
Lake View (13-1) got on the board first, scoring late in the first quarter.
On fourth-and-1 at midfield, Vernell Jones took a pitch to the right side, outran a Hawks defender and raced down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run. Tim Brunson's extra point made the score 7-0.
Jones suffered an injury to his right ankle on the next Lake View drive and did not return.
The Hawks had a golden opportunity to tie the game late in the first half, as Blackville-Hilda quarterback Brandon Isaac hit James Jones with what appeared to be a 29-yard scoring pass with no time remaining on the clock.
The celebration was short-lived, however, as the Hawks were penalized for having an ineligible receiver downfield, nullifying the score.
The Wild Gators held on the next play, preserving the 7-0 Lake View halftime lead.
Lake View took control of the game early in the second half, marching 53 yards in just seven plays to double their lead.
Antonio Gaddy had 41 yards rushing on the drive, all between the tackles, before Kevin Hamilton took it in from 6 yards out for the score. Brunson's extra point made the score 14-0 early in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Lake View struck again.
After Kevin Hamilton intercepted a Hawks pass at midfield with about two minutes to go in the third quarter, the Wild Gators took advantage.
Six plays later, early in the fourth, it was fourth-and-1 from the Blackville-Hilda 5-yard line.
Quarterback Dearrian Ford faked a handoff to the fullback, spun to his left and ran a bootleg for the touchdown. Brunson's kick made the score 21-0.
The Hawks avoided being shut out when Isaac found Joseph Simmons for a 4-yard touchdown pass with a minute left in the game. The extra point was wide right.