Dillon Wildcats out to become copy cats

Dillon will try to repeat as Class AA Div I State Champion on Friday.

The Dillon Wildcats (11-2) high school football team will face the Fairfield-Central Griffins (13-0) for the Class AA Division I Championship at Benedict College in Columbia on Friday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m. It will be a rematch of last year's title game, won by Dillon 21-6.

A win for Dillon would be the 250th career victory for head coach Jackie Hayes in 300 starts. He would become the fastest to reach that milestone in state history.

Dillon has reeled off eight consecutive wins, including victories over Wade Hampton, Lake Marion and Timberland to reach the title game.

Sophomore quarterback Avery McCall has been a tremendous leader, completing 63.6 percent of his passes with 15 TD's and just two interceptions. The wide receiver duo of Eri'Reon Hayes and Jay Johnson have been match-up nightmares for opponents throughout the season. Hayes has hauled in a dozen TD passes this year.

Running back Anthony Blue has been a game-breaker. He has scored 23 touchdowns and averaged 9.93 yards a carry.

The Dillon defense, nicknamed The Nasty Cats, has pitched eight shutouts this season, including a 14-0 masterpiece against Timberland in the Lower State Championship. Led by linebacker Joe Blue, who has committed to play at South Carolina, the Wildcats have allowed only six points in three playoff games.

Dillon's only two losses this season were to Mallard Creek (NC), ranked 14th in the nation in the latest USA Today Super 25. Mallard Creek scored a late touchdown to beat Dillon 27-21. Marlboro County, who made it to the Class AAA Lower State Final, beat Dillon 27-6.

For Dillon, a win on Friday night would be the fifth state football championship in school history. Three of them have come under head coach Jackie Hayes, in 2008, 2009, and 2012.

The first Dillon football title was in 1947 when the Wildcats won by forfeit over Walhalla, who failed to show up, because they could make more money at the gate by playing another team, according to Lonnie Turner, who is the Dillon statistician and public address announcer.

Turner is known throughout the Pee Dee as "The Voice of the Dillon Wildcats."