DANIEL ISLAND -- Friday's game between Bishop England and Marion in the third round of the Class AA Division II football playoffs presented an interesting matchup of two squads with conflicting strengths.
Heading into the contest, the Bishops allowed just three points total in their most recent trio of games, while the Swamp Foxes scored no fewer than 40 points in the each of their last three games.
Though not its strongest effort, Bishop England's defense prevailed once again in a 28-14 triumph at Jack Cantey Stadium, securing a spot in the Lower State championship game.
The Bishops (11-1) will host third-seeded Silver Bluff, a 21-7 winner over Mullins, on Nov. 25.
Bishop England quarterback Danny Croghan capped the Bishops' eight-play opening drive with a 1-yard carry for the opening score.
Senior Andrew Bunch weaved through Marion's defense for a 25-yard touchdown run with 11:24 remaining in the second quarter before intercepting Devonte Gilbert's pass two plays later to stall the Swamp Foxes' (7-5) effort to climb back into the game.
Croghan ran for another touchdown run -- this time from 7 yards -- and Bishop England cruised to a 21-0 halftime lead.
DeAngelo Stephenson recorded a 58-yard TD reception with 7:25 left in the third quarter, but the Bishops went stagnant offensively and allowed the Swamp Foxes an opportunity for a comeback.
Finding little success on the ground in the first half (21 yards), Marion opted to throw the ball. And for the most part, it worked. The Swamp Foxes quickly cut the lead in half, 28-14, before the start of the fourth.
"(Keyonta Foxworth and Lue Clemmons) had over 1,000 yards coming into the game," Bishops coach John Cantey said. "It was all about containing them. (Marion) ended up throwing the ball and making some big plays in the air."
But each time the Swamp Foxes threatened thereafter, Bishop England was up to the task.
"Unfortunately, we gave up that momentum after they got that second touchdown," Cantey said.
"Then we finally got it back in the fourth quarter."
Gilbert completed 14 of 40 passes for 260 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions for Marion.
Bishop England running back Andrew Bunch ran for a game-high 66 yards on 17 carries.
Croghan was 9 of 16 for 155 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception as the Bishops racked up 335 yards of total offense.
BE - Danny Croghan 1 run (Drew Costa kick), 5:32
BE - Andrew Bunch 22 run (Costa kick), 11:24
BE - Croghan 7 run (Costa kick), 1:40
BE - DeAngelo Stephenson 58 pass from Croghan (Costa kick), 7:25
M - Chris Washington 15 pass from Devonte Gilbert (Zi Huang kick), 6:17
M - Gilbert 2 run (Huang kick), 0:07