The Mill Town Showdown

Nation Ford Falcons @ Fort Mill Yellowjackets

Friday, October 27, 2017 7:30 PM

Fort Mill and Nation Ford were both seeking a win over the other for different reasons last fall. The Yellowjackets needed a win to get into the playoffs, while the Falcons were simply looking to make history.

Nation Ford won 43-36, and ultimately buried Fort Mill’s football season. But they treated their fans to a home stadium win over Fort Mill for the first time since the rivalry’s inception in 2007. The last second, come from behind win marked the first time Nation Ford won back-to-back football games against the Yellowjackets.

Fort Mill, who leads the series 7-3, flexed its pigskin muscle early on, winning the first six Mill Town Showdowns by a combined 170-93. Nation Ford has since won three of the last four clashes to start narrowing the win-loss gap.

Since this South Carolina pigskin slugfest is traditionally played in the final week of the regular season, and has the potential to either make or break a team’s postseason chances, its intensity tends to build into football anarchy by the time Milltown Rivalry Week arrives.

Located less than six miles apart, Fort Mill and Nation Ford draw students from the same middle schools, creating one of the harshest rivalries in the Palmetto State. Fort Mill hosts the gridiron grudge match on odd-numbered years at Bob Jones Stadium, while Nation Ford welcomes the Yellowjackets into Nation Ford High School Stadium on even-numbered years.

Winners of the last two Mill Town Showdowns, Nation Ford is enjoying unprecedented momentum in its quest to become one of Nation Ford’s final sports programs to even its series with the Yellowjackets. Fort Mill, on the other hand, is fixated on stifling its pigskin slide and securing win No. 8 over its Class 5A Region 4 adversary.

These two schools play to a standing room only crowd. So get to your seats early on Friday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. and take in the Milltown Rivalry, one of South Carolina’s coarsest gridiron encounters.

Riverly Series Hashtags

  • #BeatFortMill
  • #BeatNationFord

Who will win?

Learn More About the Teams

@ Fort Mill
Fort Mill
Nation Ford Falcons Fort Mill, SC
Loveland Tigers
Fort Mill Yellowjackets Fort Mill, SC

Nation Ford

Nation Ford Falcons

Fort Mill, SC

Nation Ford, home of the Falcons, is located about six miles to the northeast of crosstown rival Fort Mill. After opening its doors in 2007, Nation Ford enrolls just short of 1,800 students and will compete in AAAAA in 2017.

The Falcons broke through in 2013 to get their first win over the Yellowjackets and now have won three of the last four contests in this rigid 10-year series. Nation Ford has been lighting up the scoreboard recently, outscoring the Yellowjackets 165-158 in high-scoring affairs from 2013 on.

Michael Allen took over for Rusty Jester, in 2010, after Jester kicked off and maintained the Falcon football program through its first three seasons. Allen has produced four winning campaigns heading into his eighth year at the helm and carried a 40-41 mark into 2017. Nation Ford is 48-66 as a football program.

The Falcons may be fairly new at playing on the gridiron, but that doesn’t mean Nation Ford hasn’t tasted success already. The AAAAA Region IV power has already made five appearances in the South Carolina state football playoffs, compiling a 3-5 record. In 2015, the Falcons won a pair of postseason contests before falling to Northwestern 30-22 in the AAAA Division 2 semifinals.

Having won the last two rivalry games, over a quality opponent in Fort Mill, Nation Ford has to be feeling good about making another playoff run. If the Falcons do earn a runner-up repeat or better in the AAAAA Region IV standings, it won’t be because of a weak slate. Any of the five gridiron programs in the region are capable of breaking through, including the Yellowjackets, who tied Northwestern for first in the 2014 AAAA Region III standings.

For more information on the Nation Ford football team, click here.

Fort Mill

Fort Mill Yellowjackets

Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill, home of the Yellowjackets, is located in northern South Carolina about 18 miles to the south of Charlotte, North Carolina on I-77. The first Fort Mill High School opened in 1930 and with an enrollment of 1,856 students will compete in AAAAA this fall.

The Yellowjackets won the first six games of the Milltown Rivalry, and seven total, outscoring their young counterparts to the northeast 328-258 for the entire 10-year history of the Mill Town Showdown. Head coach Ed Susi, who is 47-64 with the Yellowjackets, took over in 2007, the same year the rivalry began.

Through the years, Fort Mill has had more success than it hasn’t, compiling a 316-288-11 record since 1960. The Yellowjackets have been pretty stingy on defense, allowing just over 17 points a game over the course of those 57 seasons. Fort Mill has also put over 11,000 points on the scoreboard. The Yellowjackets have made 22 South Carolina state football playoff appearances and are 11-22 in the postseason.

Playing in AAAAA’s tough Region IV in 2017, the Yellowjackets will have their work cut out for them if they are going to get back into the postseason. Fort Mill will have to get through a schedule that includes Northwestern, Rock Hill and Clover all teams that are ranked in MaxPreps’ AAAAA Top 20 two weeks into the season. And then, of course, there is always that battle with crosstown foe Nation Ford, who was highly ranked going into the season as well.

After missing the playoffs due to their second straight loss to the Falcons, Fort Mill should be plenty motivated to go out and exact a little revenge on the Falcons in the friendly confines of Bob Jones Stadium.

For more information on the Fort Mill football team, click here.