Beaufort -- Fort Dorchester put together an 80-yard scoring drive capped by Ethan Long's 2-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Smith with 8.7 seconds left -- Long's fifth touchdown pass of the night -- then recovered an onside kick to finish off a wild 49-45 victory over Beaufort in a Region 8-AAAA showdown Friday night.
The decisive drive came after Beaufort took a 45-42 lead on Parrish Holmes' second touchdown run, a 1-yard plunge with 1:34 left.
The Eagles and Patriots have shown a penchant for playing wild games over the past several years, including Fort Dorchester's 34-29 win that went down to the final play of the game last season.
This one was every bit as gut-wrenching.
The teams traded scores until late in the third quarter, when Beaufort's Akeem Smalls and Maliek Maldonado returned interceptions for touchdowns on consecutive offensive plays. Smalls took one 95 yards, and Maldonado sprinted in from 30 yards to give the Eagles a 38-28 lead.
"I thought the momentum was definitely our way (at that point)," Maldonado said. "I thought we were going to pull it out. They just made a lot more plays that we did."
Long threw for 433 yards on 31-of-42 passing, and he had three receivers go over 100 yards. Chris Rouse had eight catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns, Devron Glenn caught seven passes for 105 yards and a score, and Smith had seven grabs for 103 yards, but none bigger than the decisive touchdown catch on a quick slant.
B--FG Mitchell Stewart 27
F--Devron Glenn 95 kickoff return (Ryan Granger kick)
B--D'Vonta Cohen 8 run (Stewart kick)
F--Chris Rouse 11 pass from Ethan Long (Granger kick)
B--Parrish Holmes 1 run (Stewart kick)
F--Rodney Gibbs 4 pass from Long (Granger kick)
B--Luke Smith 8 pass from Alex Gregory (kick failed)
F--Long 1 run (Granger kick)
B--Akeem Smalls 95 interception return (Keith Carpenter pass from Gregory),
B--Maliek Maldonado 30 interception return (Stewart kick)
F--Glenn 10 pass from Long (Granger kick)
F--Rouse 29 pass from Long (Granger kick)
B--Holmes 1 run (Stewart kick)
F--T.J. Smith 2 pass from Long (Granger kick)