Bishop England outlasted Whale Branch 26-21 in the teams' Region 6-AA opener Friday at Jack Cantey Stadium on Daniel Island.
The Bishops (2-4, 1-0) for nearly 42 of 48 minutes but needed a fourth-down stop deep in their own territory to seal the region win in the final seconds.
Whale Branch (2-4, 0-1) grabbed its first lead with 4 minutes to play in the fourth quarter off a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jamar Scott to tight end Torric Fair.
Bishop senior fullback John DeStefano answered on the first play of the ensuing drive with a 59-yard touchdown run down the Warriors' sideline to put Bishop England back on top 26-21.
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Whale Branch rode its 250-pound back D.J. Davis down to the Bishops' 17-yard line searching for the go-ahead score on what would likely be its final possession. Forced to pass with time running out, the Warriors sputtered inside the Bishops red zone. DeStefano ended the threat with a fourth-down sack with 13 seconds remaining.
"What I wouldn't give for one more minute," Whale Branch head coach Jerry Hatcher said. "We had momentum. We were moving. Everyone was fired up. But we ran out of time."
Davis finished with 153 yards and Scott was 4-5 passing for 50 yards and two touchdowns for Whale Branch.