NORTH CHARLESTON — A failed two-point conversion attempt in the final minute prevented Summerville from pulling off an upset and left the Region 8-AAAAA football championship in Fort Dorchester’s hands.
The Patriots defeated rival Summerville 35-34 to clinch the region championship and improve to 5-0 on the season, with a 4-0 mark against region opponents. Summerville dropped to 3-2 and 3-1 but will make the Class AAAAA playoffs.
“I thought Summerville did a great job,” Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. “Their kids played really hard, probably harder than we did to be honest with you. We are lucky to get out of here with the win. We made too many mistakes and not too much went our way.”
Fort Dorchester senior Dwayne Wright carried much of the load offensively, rushing for three touchdowns on runs of 5, 8 and 18 yards. Sophomore quarterback Zolten Osborne completed a 32-yard TD pass to Keith Desaussure and a 26-yard TD pass to O.J. Washington.
Summerville QB Colby Shirey scored on runs of 80, 7 and 3 yards and completed a 19-yard TD pass to senior receiver Jacob Carter.
Summerville also scored on a fake punt. Senior punter Alex Hundemer threw to Michael Jenkins, who broke a tackle and dash for a 58-yard TD reception that gave the Green Wave a 28-14 lead in the third quarter.
However, the Patriots had the next three scores to take a 35-28 lead early in the fourth. The last of them was set up by a fumble forced by lineman Jaeden Profit and recovered by linebacker Otis Mack to give Fort Dorchester possession at the Green Wave 13-yard line.
A few plays later, Wright ran up the middle for his 18-yard TD.
Summerville drove 62 yards to answer Wright’s final TD. Green Wave receiver Leroy Simmons made a pair of athletic catches on the sidelines to keep the drive alive and Shirey ran in from 3 yards out with 31 seconds remaining for the 35-34 margin.
Summerville coach Ian Rafferty, who was Fort Dorchester’s offensive coordinator last season, decided to go for 2. Receiver Ka’Mari Hair got the pitch on a reverse, pulled up and passed, but the pass fell incomplete.
“We really had the chance to win the football game,” Rafferty said. “These kids are starting to believe in themselves a little bit and we are right there with everyone else. It’s always good to be in the playoffs so we are excited about that. If the kids play like this and we clean things up a little bit we will be just fine.”