Cy­clones end Dil­lon dom­i­nance, re­turn state ti­tle to Ch­ester

The State - - Sports - BY LOU BEZJAK lbez­[email protected]­tate.com

Ch­ester ended its long ti­tle drought and beat one of the state’s top pro­grams to do it.

Pha’Leak Brown ran for three touch­downs as the Cy­clones held on in the fi­nal minute to de­feat Dil­lon, 34-28, to win the Class 3A cham­pi­onship at Wil­liams-Brice Sta­dium.

It was the Cy­clones’ first ti­tle since 1963. Dil­lon was go­ing for its sixth ti­tle in the past seven years.

Dil­lon got to 34-20 and was driv­ing to get closer, but Javonti Jack­son picked off the Wild­cats in the end zone with less than seven min­utes left.

The Wild­cats scored on their next posses­sion on Jay Lester’s 9-yard pass to Ah­mari Hug­gins-Bruce to make it 34-28.

Dil­lon got one last chance to win af­ter Ch­ester bob­bled the snap on a punt deep in its own ter­ri­tory. The Wild­cats got it to the 16, but Lester was sacked by Teddy Mur­phy to seal the win.

“We just had to come up with a stop; that was all I was think­ing about,” said Ch­ester coach Victor Floyd, whose first head coach­ing job was at C.A. John­son. “De­fense did a great job, giv­ing us the ball in the sec­ond half. We didn’t do a lot with it, but we did enough to get by.”

Brown fin­ished with 95 yards rush­ing. Dil­lon out­gained Ch­ester 319-231 but was hurt by turnovers.

Ch­ester picked off Dil­lon three times, in­clud­ing a 96-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a score by Ter­rence Mills in the first quar­ter to make it 13-0.

“We talked all week about not get­ting caught in the mo­ment, get­ting off to a fast start and not watch­ing the Jum­botron,” Floyd said.

TRACY KIMBALL tkim­[email protected]­al­don­line.com

Ch­ester’s Pha’Leak Brown tack­les down Dil­lon’s Justin Green dur­ing Fri­day’s Class 3A state cham­pi­onship game.

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