The biggest play in Beaufort High School’s 23-13 win Friday night at Orangeburg-Wilkinson may have come because Jawan Mack had to tie his shoe.
With the Eagles leading 13-0 late in the third quarter, Mack kneeled down between plays deep in the secondary.
“He was tying his shoe, about 15 yards deep tying his shoe,” Beaufort High coach Mark Clifford said, “and they got under center real quick to take advantage of it. And (Mack) saw it and started running to his regular depth and never broke stride. They tried a quick hitch to the receiver and (Mack) got it and was gone.”
The interception return for a touchdown gave the Eagles (6-4, 3-2 Region 8-AAA) a 20-0 lead with 2:55 left in the third quarter. Officials then stopped the game for lightning for more than 30 minutes.
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“The lightning thing took away our momentum,” Clifford said.
The Bruins (7-3, 2-3) scored twice more, sandwiching a 34-yard Brady Cormier field goal, to cut the lead to 23-13 before the Eagles were able to run out the clock.
“I don’t usually use the words must win, but it was a must win,” Clifford said. “We were going to have an away (playoff) game anyway, but it’s a big difference playing the No. 2 seed instead of the No. 1 seed.
“Having a winning season was big, too. It’s a big diference between being 5-5 and 6-4. And getting our confidence back after last week was big, too.”
Omar Cummings scored Beaufort High’s first touchdown in the first quarter on a 1-yard run after the Bruins fumbled away a punt.
Cormier added a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 30-yarder in the third.
“We had a couple good possessions in the fourth quarter to eat up some time,” Clifford said.
Clifford said the Eagles expect to open the Class 3-A playoffs at Marlboro County, but that won’t be official until Saturday.