BLUFFTON – Bluffton is moving on in playoffs, thanks to some late-game heroics.
Hunter Eldridge hit a leaping Jermaine Patterson, who made a one-handed grab, on an 11-yard pass with 1:16 left and the Bobcats made a late defensive stand in the 22-21 win over Hanahan on Friday in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Bluffton travels to unbeaten and No. 3 Gilbert, 57-16 winners over Aynor, in the second round.
Eldridge finished 11-of-25 for 148 yards passing and two touchdowns.
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The Bobcats were helped by Hanahan’s 120 yards in penalties including one to extend the game-winning drive.
Bluffton’s Richard Jenkins had two interceptions and returned a 60-yard fumble for a touchdown to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Hanahan’s Quincy Mitchell answered the Bobcats’ score with a 54-yard rush with 10:25 left in the second quarter, but the extra point was no good.
The game stayed at 7-6 at halftime as Bluffton stopped Hanahan on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
In third quarter, Mitchell scored on a 6-yard run to put Hanahan up 12-7. Mitchell finished with 263 yards on the ground.
The two teams then exchanged field goals and Eldridge gave Bluffton a 16-15 lead on a 41-yard pass to I’Keiem Jefferson.
But Mitchell’s third touchdown of the night put Hanahan ahead 21-16 with 5:32 left in the fourth quarter.