COLUMBIA - The Hartsville Red Foxes completed a perfect season, finishing 15-0 after defeating Union County 62-27 in the SCHSL Class AAA state title game on Saturday night. It is the fourth state title in Hartsville school history, but the first since 1988.
The Red Foxes ran for 452 yards in the game, led by Trey Samuel, who had 274 yards on the ground to go with two touchdowns. Tre Rogers added 110 rush yards with five scores on the evening.
Though the win means a lot more to this Hartsville team, which had to overcome the challenge of losing a teammate during a game at the beginning of October earlier this year. Ronald Rouse collapsed on the field when Hartsville was hosting Crestwood and rushed to the hospital. He died in the hospital, due to natural causes, which brought on sudden cardiac arrhythmia because of a congenital enlarged heart.
The Red Foxes continued to play, and finished their season undefeated on Saturday night, all for the late senior lineman.
"This is what Ronald wanted more than all of us, having a state championship, and we had to do this for him, we had to," said running back Trey Samuel.
"It just means a lot to us. We had to do it for our brother Ronald," added quarterback Shaq Johnson. "It just means a lot to us."
After the win, head coach Jeff Calabrese expressed how proud he was of his team.
"This team is just unbelievable," he said. "What a great team, what a great story. What a great testament to true character, and young men rising above things, it's just unbelievable."
For highlights and reaction to Saturday's championship-winning game, click above.