Fort Dorchester 49, Beaufort High 35
The Eagles had already come back once and were doing it again when the breaks went against them.
Beaufort High fell behind early Friday night in North Charleston, but battled back and traded punches with Fort Dorchester before falling, 49-35.
"We were coming back, no doubt," Eagles coach Mark Clifford said early Saturday. "We did come back, and then we were coming back again."
Zach Brown's 35-yard intereception return for a touchdown and Stephen Baggett's short touchdown reception kept the Eagles in the ballgame in the first half. They trailed 28-14 at intermission.
But late in the first half, according to Clifford, the Eagles (3-7, 0-4 Region 8-AAAA) found a weakness in the Patriots' run defense they felt they could exploit.
On the first possession of the third quarter, the Eagles' drive concluded with a JaClay Mixon touchdown run.
After the Eagles' defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Mixon and the Eagles repeated the process.
But on the next play from scrimmage, Charles Loftland went 80 yards for the touchdown and Fort Dorchester (5-5, 2-2) led the rest of the way. After a fruitless Beaufort drive, Daitwan Commodore scored for the Patriots on another big run for a 42-28 lead.
Beaufort High and Fort Dorchester swapped scores, with Deontaye Singleton scoring for the Eagles, but even when good fortune smiled on the Eagles, it still turned sour.
After their last score, the Eagles were successful on an onside kick but fumbled the ball away on a bad snap. They also successfully executed a fake punt before turning the ball over again.
"You can see it on the field, they're playing as hard as they can," Clifford said. "It was a good year to win the region, but we didn't get it turned around back when we should have, and it's hard this late in the season. The effot was there, the will was there, it just didn't happen."