Yuneek Crittendon donned a blue cape over his pads and matching cap at halftime Friday, spoils of the homecoming king.
The Battery Creek High School senior's teammates already knew there was little Crittendon could not do. And in his halftime outfit, Crittendon appeared a superhero.
The Dolphins needed his heroics again Friday to defeat North Charleston, 57-51, in a wild finish. But this time he shared the load.
Dolphins sophomore running back Tyrone Dilbert scored his fourth touchdown as time expired to give Battery Creek victory and avoid overtime.
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Crittendon rushed for 287 yards and three scores, with 186 yards and two tocuhdowns by the time his name was called in the homecoming court. And Battery Creek needed it all to snap a three-game losing streak.
The already-thin Dolphins lost Dilbert to injury for much of the first half. He had rolled his ankle but returned for the third quarter.
"It bent all the way back," Dilbert said. "But I came out in the second half and said I was going to play. And I went out and played."
"He stepped up," Crittendon said.
Everything ran through Crittendon, who also had a touchdown pass called back due to penalty and had another potential touchdown pass bobbled incomplete in the end zone.
His third attempt came with the Dolphins facing fourth-and-10 from their 34 with 10 seconds remaining. Players told their coaches during a timeout the play would work again, and Crittendon found Raheem Cooper for a 32-yard gain on the sideline to stop the clock and allow Dilbert's 2-yard touchdown run.
"I believed in him," Crittendon said. "I believed in his team to block for him. I seen it open the whole game, so I believed he could make the catch."
Battery Creek (3-5, 2-3 Region 8-AAAA) was already without running back Josh Roberts, who has been dismissed from the team, Dolphins coach Jim Shuman said. Sophomore Alterell Chatman filled in for Dilbert, but Crittendon received the bulk of the carries.
The Cougars were the first of a lighter stretch on the Dolphins' schedule to close the season. Battery Creek's three losses came to region contender Ridgeland-Hardeeville and traditional powers Woodland and Bishop England, by an average of 11 points.
North Charleston had their chances to keep Battery Creek reeling. Shuman said he knew from watching film that the Cougars' Wing-T would be trouble. He watched their big offensive linemen pulling and knew the Dolphins didn't have the size to match.
Instead, Battery Creek forced two key turnovers. Cooper intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter to set up a go-ahead score.
And with the Cougars facing fourth-and-4 from the Dolphins' 33, defensive end Eric Freeman sacked Ricky Simmons, forcing a fumble and setting up the winning drive.
The Dolphins converted two fourth downs on their final march.
"Everybody questions the heart of a team that has lost three (in a row)," Shuman said. "But I knew our guys had a ton of heart."
Battery Creek 57, North Charleston 51
North Charleston 15 6 8 16 -- 51
Battery Creek 21 14 7 22 -- 57
BC -- Tyrone Dilbert 37 run (kick) 10:14
NC -- Antonio Mack 10 run (Keory Wright kick) 6:41
BC -- Dilbert 21 run (Crittendon rush) 2:38
NC -- Deaondre Gilmore 68 run (Trea Gourdine pass from Gilmore) 2:12
BC -- Yuneek Crittendon 12 run (run failed) :3.8
NC -- Mack 68 pass from Ricky Simmons (kick failed) 8:56
BC -- Crittendon 16 run (Zach Mahan kick) 1:58
NC -- Gilmore 4 run (Gilmore run) 8:17
BC -- Alterell Chatman 5 run (Mahan kick) 4:11
NC -- Gilmore 6 run (Gilmore run) 10:36
BC -- Crittendon 42 run (Crittendon run) 8:49
BC -- Dilbert 4 run (Crittendon run) 6:49
NC -- Simmons 10 run (Gilmore run) 4:08
BC -- Dilbert 2 run :00
First Downs 26 31
Rushes-Yards 47-342 52-469
Comp-Att-Int 5-9-1 6-15-1
Passing Yards 155 160
Punts-Avg 0-0 1-28
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 3-1
Penalties-Yards 1-4 1/2 13-80
Third-Down Conv 5-8 7-10
Fourth-Down Conv 0-2 2-2
PASSING: North Charleston -- Rick Simmons 5-9-155-1, Deaondre Gilmore 0-1; Battery Creek -- Zach Mahan 5-13-128-1, Yuneek Crittendon 1-2-32.
RUSHING: North Charleston -- Gilmore 22-195, Antonio Mack 11-109, Malik Scott 7-28, Simmons 5-13, Janarius Smalls 2- (-3) ; Battery Creek -- Crittendon 31-287, Tyrone Dilbert 12-160, Alterell Chatman 6-22, Zach Mahan 3-0.
RECEIVING: North Charleston -- Mack 2-95, Trea Gourdine 3-60; Battery Creek -- Crittendon 2-52, Raheem Cooper 2-46, Isaiah Sloan 1-31.