Mark Clifford’s first season at Beaufort Academy was one to remember.
The Eagles capped their magical postseason run with a 42-40 win over defending state champion Andrew Jackson on Friday in the SCISA 8-man championship at Patrick Henry Academy.
It was BA’s first football state title in school history. The win also snapped Andrew Jackson’s 48-game winning streak, which was the longest current one in any public or private classification in South Carolina.
“Andrew Jackson was a physical football team, but our kids did what they had to do to win a state championship,” Clifford told the Times and Democrat.
It’s Clifford’s first state title as a coach. He was named the BA coach on Feb. 16 after 14 seasons at Beaufort High.
Clifford went 107-52 at Beaufort and led the school to the 2007 title game.
Edward McCormick’s 35-yard touchdown and Elijah Fess’ two-point conversion gave Beaufort a 42-34 lead with 3:28 left. Andrew Jackson cut it to 42-40 with 1:23 remaining but missed the two-point conversion.
AJ recovered the onside kick but Epps’ interception sealed the win for the Eagles.
Beaufort Academy lost to AJ, 40-28 earlier this season.
Beaufort Academy running back De’Shaun Epps scored three first-half touchdowns on runs of 49, 76, and 10 yards and finished with 263 yards.
Quarterback Dawson Coleman rushed for 108 yards and two scores, the second of which put Beaufort Academy up 34-28 in the fourth.
AJA’s Jon Schaffer’s 15-yard touchdown run tied it at 34 with 6:28 to play.