The final seconds were ticking away, and regardless of whether Wando High School was able to find the end zone for the first time Friday night, the outcome of the game already was decided.
Yet everyone on the Beaufort High School sideline was jumping up and down, cheering like mad for one more defensive stop.
The Eagles got it, as JaClay Mixon intercepted a Josh Walker pass on the final play, preserving Beaufort High's third consecutive shutout, a 21-0 victory against the visiting Warriors.
"I can't say enough about our defense," Beaufort High coach Mark Clifford said. "They're the living proof of daggone bend-but-don't-break. We had trouble with field position all night, and our defense just hung in there and hung in there until we could finally get some momentum on offense."
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Beaufort High (6-1) has allowed 55 points through seven games -- the lowest total in Class 4-A -- and the Eagles have given up only 12 over their past four games.
In the first half Friday, though, the Warriors were just as good. The Eagles managed only 62 total yards before halftime, and Wando gained only 64, as the teams went to the break in a scoreless tie.
D'Vonta Cohen changed that on Beaufort High's second possession of the third quarter, bouncing a run to the left side and slicing through a hole for a 57-yard touchdown run. Cohen, who missed the past two games with a groin injury, led the Eagles with 77 yards on seven carries.
"I was happy to be back," Cohen said, "and being that I could open up the game with a big touchdown to help my team win the game, it felt good."
The Eagles' defense kept the good vibes coming by blocking Brandon Burkholder's 24-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, and the offense quickly took advantage of the momentum.
Beaufort High drove 80 yards in five plays, converting a third-and-5 with a 42-yard pass from Beau Brown to Dymonte' Gwathney to set up Alex Simmons' 32-yard touchdown run. After Ruben Francis pounced on a fumbled snap on the Warriors' next possession, Simmons broke another one, breaking a tackle and keeping his balance for a 24-yard touchdown run.
The Eagles more than tripled their offensive output in the second half, finishing with 252 total yards against a Warriors defense that had allowed an average of 10.3 points per game going into the night.
"The first half, it was tough," said Simmons, who rushed for 68 yards on seven carries. "We had to figure their defense out. We went in at halftime and ironed some things out, and the offensive linemen went out and opened some holes for us in the second half."
The Warriors (5-2) finished with 236 total yards, led by Dezmon Venning, who rushed for 102 yards on 21 carries.
Beaufort High has won four straight since a 34-29 loss at Fort Dorchester, but the Eagles are 0-1 in Region 8-AAAA and begin a crucial stretch of three consecutive region games next week at Ashley Ridge.
"We're not done yet," Simmons said. "It's good that we got the win against a tough team. I guess we kind of got to see where we are, but we're not done. We've still got to come back and work harder and keep getting better every week."