COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - For the second consecutive season, the Dillon Wildcats fell short of the ultimate goal.
Chapman out-muscled Dillon in the first quarter, scoring 20 points unanswered before claiming the 2019 SCHSL Class 3A title with a final score of 44-14.
The Wildcats dug themselves an early hole thanks to some sloppy ball handling. Just one minute into the first quarter, Chapman’s Gabe Watson stripped Jay Lester and returned the fumble 15 yards for the first Panther touchdown of the day.
The Panthers kept the pedal to the medal on their second offensive possession, driving 54 yards in only 49 seconds to extend the lead to 14-0. Running back Dante Smith’s 29-yard rush was the big gainer on that drive.
Despite appearing in its eigth straight state title game, Dillon couldn’t stop the bleeding on Chapman’s third drive either. After a turnover-on-downs with 6:01 remaining in the first, Chapman drove the distance, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Walt Waddell.
Named South Carolina’s 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year on Wednesday, Chapman quarterback Mikele Colasurdo earned the billing Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. The senior signal caller shredded the 'Cats defense to the tune of 219 passing, 41 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.
Chapman continued to control the pace and scoring in the third quarter, tacking on 10 more points for insurance.
Dillon returns all but two starters on offense and defense for the 2020 season.