Columns & Blogs

Every Friday night should be like that one

It started with a shootout on the south end that spawned a sticky celebration from Hilton Head Christian Academy.

The excitement bubbled up at Beaufort High, where the Eagles laid claim to being a legitimate state title contender.

And it boiled over at Bluffton High School, when a report from two hours north set off a celebration of the Bobcats' first region title.

When it was all over, it amounted to the biggest night of high school football Beaufort County has seen in quite some time.

Although at this rate, that's not likely to stand up for long.

After some lean years in this corner of the state, Friday nights in the fall are finally something to get excited about.

Sure, there have been good teams around here -- Hilton Head Christian and Hilton Head Prep have combined to win four of the past five SCISAA Class 2-A titles, Beaufort High has been a perennial playoff team in coach Mark Clifford's seven seasons, and Hilton Head High had a good run before running into a rebuilding year this season.

But rarely have there been nights like Friday, when the inability to be in two (or three) places at once made you feel like a failure as a football fan.

That was the situation I found myself in Friday, as I sat in front of the computer, trying to chronicle Hilton Head Christian's 49-28 win at Hilton Head Prep, which clinched the Eagles' second consecutive region title and secured their status as the clear-cut favorite to make it two straight SCISAA Class 2-A titles.

It was impossible to concentrate with so many big games going on in the area. I couldn't take my eyes off Twitter, except to check the steady stream of text messages flooding my phone.

One minute, I wished I was at Beaufort High, watching the back-and-forth between two of the top teams in the state's largest classification.

The next, I wanted nothing more than to soak in the reaction at Bluffton, when the Bobcats and their fans learned the news that Cane Bay had knocked off Berkeley.

We better get used to the feeling, because the schedule two weeks from now is shaping up to be something special. Beaufort High seems like a lock to host a first-round game in the Class 4-A Division II playoffs Nov. 12, which is the same night Bluffton could host a second-round game against another one-loss team in A.C. Flora.

Oh, and those cross-island rivals appear destined for a rematch with a spot in the SCISAA Class 2-A title game on the line.

It will be excruciating to be stuck in one place that night, but after several falls with too many ho-hum Friday nights, that's a good problem to have.