COLUMBIA — Porter-Gaud quarterback Oliver Michaud bent over at the waist and couldn’t bring himself to stand up straight and look at the scoreboard at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

Cyclones running back Eric Jackson was in tears as the loudspeakers at the stadium blared out Queen’s song: “We are the Champions.”

It wasn’t the way the season was supposed to end for the Cyclones.

Ben Lippen running back Bryce Thompson rushed for a game-high 171 yards and scored three touchdowns, including the clinching score in overtime as the Falcons defeated Porter-Gaud, 27-21, Saturday night at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

The Falcons (9-2) won the SCISA Class AAA state title with victory and avenged a 28-26 loss to the Cyclones during the regular season.

The Cyclones finished their season at 10-2.

“It was a great high school football,” said Porter-Gaud coach Rick Reetz said. “Obviously, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I’m so proud of our kids. I thought they played a great game. They battled to the very end. They left everything out on the field. We just came up on the short end.”

Thompson proved to be too much for the Cyclones defense. The junior running back, who has verbally committed to play at Virginia Tech, was held in check during most of the first half.

But, he was nearly unstoppable over the final two quarters.

“Bryce Thompson was the difference maker in the game,” Reetz said. “When they needed a big play, he made it for them. He’s a very good player.”

Thompson was ejected from the game against the Cyclones during the regular season for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Jackson did his part for the Cyclones, finishing with 185 yards of total offense, including 139 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

But it will be the two yards that Jackson couldn’t come up with that will haunt the senior this winter. Faced with a 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line in overtime, Jackson took the handoff from Michaud, but the Falcons defense was waiting on him, stopping the Cyclones running back for a 2-yard loss.

“I thought going for it down there in overtime gave us the best chance to win,” Reetz said. “We needed a touchdown in that situation.”

He was right.

On the first offensive play for Ben Lippen, the Falcons lined up in a ‘wildcat’ formation and Thompson stormed his way into the end zone for the winning score.

It was the first state title for the Falcons.

“Bryce just took over the game for us,” said Ben Lippen coach Derek White. “When we needed a big play he came through for us.”

Michaud completed 13 of 24 passes for 161 yards and rushed 23 times for 85 yards and two TDs.

“Oliver played extremely well for us,” Reetz said. “I thought all of the seniors stepped up and played well. We knew we were up against some tough competition and we just came up short.”

Trailing 13-7 heading into the final quarter, Jackson capped off a 15-play, 78-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run to give Porter Gaud a 14-13 lead with 6:40 left in regulation.

The Cyclones celebration was short lived.

Three plays later, Thompson took a hand off, burst over the right side, eluded a defender and then reversed field and raced 58 yards for the TD. But an earlier missed extra point forced the Falcons to go for a two-point conversion.

Ben Lippen quarterback Patrick McClure somehow found Chris Haynesworth, who made a leaping one-handed catch, in the back of the end zone to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead with 5:35 to play.

But the Cyclones answered again.

Michaud found Dante Smith for a 23-yard gain down the Falcons 23. Then Michaud and Jackson exchanged carries, methodically moving the Cyclones down the field. Michaud finished off the drive, bulling his way into the end zone from 9 yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 2:26 to play in regulation.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose the game, but it doesn’t diminish what we accomplished through the season,” Reetz said.

COLUMBIA -- Porter Gaud quarterback Oliver Michaud bent over at the waist and couldn’t bring himself to stand up straight and look at the scoreboard at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

Cyclones running back Eric Jackson was in tears as the loudspeakers at the stadium blared out Queen’s song “We are the Champions.”

It wasn’t the way the season was supposed to end for the Cyclones.

Ben Lippen running back Bryce Thompson rushed for a game-high 171 yards and scored three touchdowns, including the clinching score in overtime as the Falcons defeated Porter Gaud, 27-21, Saturday night at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

The Falcons (9-2) won the SCISA Class AAA state title with victory and avenged a 28-26 loss to the Cyclones during the regular season.

The Cyclones finished their season at 10-2.

“It was a great high school football,” said Porter Gaud coach Rick Reetz said. “Obviously, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I’m so proud of our kids. I thought they played a great game. They battled to the very end. They left everything out on the field. We just came up on the short end.”

Thompson proved to be too much for the Cyclones defense. The junior running back, who has verbally committed to play at Virginia Tech, was held in check during most of the first half.

He was nearly unstoppable over the final two quarters.

“Bryce Thompson was the difference maker in the game,” Reetz said. “When they needed a big play, he made it for them. He’s a very good player.”

Thompson was ejected from the game against the Cyclones during the regular season for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Jackson did his part for the Cyclones, finishing with 185 yards of total offense, including 139 yards on the ground and a TD.

But it will be the two yards that Jackson couldn’t come up with that will haunt the senior this winter. Faced with a 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line in overtime, Jackson took the handoff from Michaud, but the Falcons defense was waiting on him, stopping the Cyclones running back for a 2-yard loss.

“I thought going for it down there in overtime gave us the best chance to win,” Reetz said. “We needed a touchdown in that situation.”

He was right.

On the first offensive play for Ben Lippen, the Falcons lined up in a ‘wildcat’ formation and Thompson stormed his way into the end zone for the winning score.

It was the first state title for the Falcons.

“Bryce just took over the game for us,” said Ben Lippen coach Derek White. “When we needed a big play he came through for us.”

Michaud completed 13 of 24 passes for 161 yards and rushed 23 times for 85 yards and two TDs.

“Oliver played extremely well for us,” Reetz said. “I thought all of the seniors stepped up and played well. We knew we were up against some tough competition and we just came up short.”

Trailing 13-7 heading into the final quarter, Jackson capped off a 15-play, 78-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run to give Porter Gaud a 14-13 lead with 6:40 left in regulation.

The Cyclones celebration was short lived.

Three plays later, Thompson took a hand off, burst over the right side, eluded a defender and then reversed field and raced 58 yards for the TD. But an earlier missed extra point forced the Falcons to go for a two-point conversion.

Ben Lippen quarterback Patrick McClure somehow found Chris Haynesworth, who made a leaping one-handed catch, in the back of the end zone to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead with 5:35 to play.

But the Cyclones answered again.

Michaud found Dante Smith for a 23-yard gain down the Falcons 23. Then Michaud and Jackson exchanged carries, methodically moving the Cyclones down the field. Michaud finished off the drive, bulling his way into the end zone from 9 yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 2:26 to play in regulation.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose the game, but it doesn’t diminish what we accomplished through the season,” Reetz said.

Reach Andrew Miller at 843-937-5599. Follow him on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC.