GOOSE CREEK -- It was the game of the year in the Lowcountry, and Friday night's Summerville-Goose Creek showdown produced memories -- or nightmares -- that might last a lifetime depending on what team you were rooting for.
In a game that featured everything but defense, Goose Creek blew a 42-21 third-quarter lead, but showed moxie to gain a 64-57 triple overtime victory over Summerville in front of approximately 7,000 fans at Gibson Stadium.
The teams combined for 1,232 yards in total offense. Summerville tallied 646 yards while Goose Creek had 586.
The game had some outstanding individual efforts. Summerville's De'angelo Henderson carried 35 times for 286 yards and five touchdowns, while the Gators' Jerome Jordan ran 13 times for 228 yards. Goose Creek's Virgil Smalls tallied five touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third overtime.
Green Wave quarterback Dalton Saunders was 9 of 22 for 297 yards, and Cody Reese caught four passes for 166 yards and a pair of scores.
Goose Creek quarterback Jaquan Marsh, who completed only 2 of 7 passes for 16 yards in the first two games, completed 8 of 11 for 172 yards.
"What can you say? I'm going to have to look at it again because
it was such a long game with so much scoring and highlights," Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said. "We played great all night. Our kids played with such heart. We ask them to play hard for 48 minutes and they ended up playing hard for about 70 minutes."
The third-ranked Gators upped their record to 3-0, and the sixth-ranked Green Wave fell to 2-1.
If you were one of the fans who headed to the concession stand as halftime approached, you probably missed the three touchdowns in the final 94 seconds of the first half, and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Two of the scores came on fumble recoveries.
Late in the first half, Goose Creek had the ball on the Green Wave 10, but Mike Myers fumbled the ball at the 5 into the end zone. Tackle Brandon Shell recovered in the end zone for the touchdown to give the Gators a 21-14 lead with 1:34 left in the half.
The Gators pushed the lead to 28-14 with 35 seconds left, when Marsh and Tramel Terry connected on a 68-yard touchdown pass.
But Summerville responded with its own big play. With the ball on the Green Wave 25, Saunders completed a short pass to J.R. Leach, who fumbled the ball. Reese recovered it at the 40, headed to the sideline and raced 60 yards for a score to cut the lead to 28-21 with 11 seconds left in the half.
The Green Wave later trailed by three scores. But Reese caught a 53-yard TD pass with one second left in the third quarter, and Henderson scored on runs of 33 and 7 yards in the fourth quarter.
Summerville took an 8-point lead in the second OT on Henderson's 10-yard run and 2-point conversion, but the Gators came back with two TDs and a 2-point conversion by Smalls to gain the victory.
"I said it once and still think that Henderson is the best running back in the state, and Smalls is the best fullback in the state," Reedy said. "He's a man. He's hard to tackle. He wears people down."
Goose Creek -- Virgil Smalls 3 run (Masamitsu Ishibashi kick)
Summerville -- Chris Williams 78 pass from Dalton Saunders (Bryan Jordan kick)
Goose Creek -- Jamel Bowman 25 pass from Jaquan Marsh (Ishibashi kick)
Summerville -- De'angelo Henderson 3 run (Jordan kick)
Goose Creek -- Brandon Shell fumble recovery in the endzone (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek --Tramel Terry 68 pass from Jaquan Marsh (Ishibashi kick)
Summerville -- Cody Reese 60 run (Jordan kick)
Goose Creek -- Smalls 1 run (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek -- Smalls 3 run (Ishibashi kick)
Summerville -- Reese 54 pass from Saunders (Jordan kick)
Summerville -- Henderson 33 run (Jordan kick)
Summerville -- Henderson 7 run (Jordan kick)
Goose Creek -- Terry 6 run (Ishibashi kick)
Summerville -- Henderson 1 run (Jordan kick)
Summerville -- Henderson 10 run (Henderson run)
Goose Creek -- Smalls 4 run (Smalls run)
Goose Creek -- Smalls 10 run (Ishibashi run)