Dillon Wildcats win 2A Div I state football championship

Dillon Head Coach Jackie Hayes gets a Gatorade bath after Wildcats win/Rich Chrampanis

Eri'Reon Hayes had three touchdown catches and the Dillon defense dominated in a 41-3 win over Fairfield Central to claim its second consecutive class 2A Division I state championship at Benedict College in Columbia on Friday night.

Dillon put together a 10 play 58 yard drive and established the run with Anthony Blue.

Damu Ford, who plays primarily at linebacker, went in untouched on a 15 yard run to get the Wildcats their first score of the game.

Ford turned right back around and picked off quarterback DeAndre Belton and returned the interception to the 24 yard line.

On the very next play, Wildcats quarterback Avery McCall threw a high arching ball that Hayes extended his full body to make a diving catch in the end zone.

McCall and Hayes would hook up on scoring plays of 57 and 69 yards.

The Wildcats led 21-3 at the half and scored two quick scores in the third quarter with Hayes final score and a Justin Cyprien 49 yard fumble recovery for a score.

The Dillon defense held Fairfield Central to just 98 yards on the ground, over 100 yards less than their season average.

The Dillon Wildcats went 12-2 on the season. They faced a previously undefeated Fairfield-Central squad in a rematch of last year's title game.

The win is the 250th career victory for head coach Jackie Hayes in 300 starts. He has become the fastest to reach that milestone in state history.

Before the state championship game Friday night, Dillon had reeled off eight consecutive wins, including victories over Wade Hampton, Lake Marion and Timberland to reach the title game.

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.

Friday night's win is the fifth state football championship in school history. Four of them have come under head coach Jackie Hayes, in 2008, 2009, 2012 and now 2013.

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."