It took Bluffton High School five years to win its first Bridge Bowl against Hilton Head High.
It took the Bobcats an extra five days to get the trophy for it.
The Bobcats defeated the Seahawks, 37-0, in the fifth annual Bridge Bowl on Friday night. Noticeably absent during their post-game celebration, however, was the actual Bridge Bowl trophy.
That's because the trophy never made the trip to Bobcat Stadium on Friday night. Instead, it sat near the front office at Hilton Head High, which has held possession of it since the inaugural Bridge Bowl in 2006.
It was the first Bridge Bowl contest in which the trophy has not been present, Bluffton athletics director Dave Adams said.
Bluffton coach Ken Cribb said the Bobcats, who also claimed the Region 7-AAA championship with Friday night's win, missed out by not having a chance to hoist the trophy following the win.
"We won two trophies Friday night and didn't see either one of them," Cribb said.
"I don't think it's right for the kids, who the last four years have had to watch the other team celebrate and get their photo in the paper with the trophy. And the one year Bluffton wins it, they don't get their opportunity to hold it."
On Wednesday, Hilton Head High athletics director Lew Kent delivered the Bridge Bowl trophy to Bluffton, giving the Bobcats possession of it for the first time in school history.
Kent said he simply didn't think to bring the trophy with him to Friday's game.
"To tell you the truth, I didn't even think about it," Kent said. "I was already (at Bluffton) and I didn't even think about it. There's no story behind it."
Cribb said Bluffton will plan a special presentation of the Bridge Bowl trophy before Friday night's playoff game. The Bobcats host Lakewood in the opening round of the Class 3-A playoffs, the first playoff game they will host in school history.
But Bluffton doesn't expect the pre-game ceremony will make up for not holding the trophy following the win against the Seahawks.
"I hate that they didn't run around with that trophy in front of the crowd," Adams said. "That's lost in history now. That picture is lost in history."
BRIDGE BOWL HISTORY
2006: Hilton Head High 10, Bluffton 0
2007: Hilton Head High 27, Bluffton 15
2008: Hilton Head High 28, Bluffton 10
2009: Hilton Head High 55, Bluffton 21
2010: Bluffton 37, Hilton Head High 0