COLUMBIA -- Bishop England coach Ed Khouri can laugh about it now, but last year's stunning triple-overtime loss to Batesburg-Leesville cost the Bishops a sixth straight Class AA state title in what was a bizarre game.
Bishop England outshot Batesburg- Leesville 41-6, but the Panthers' Carlos Hernandez scored a goal in the 102nd minute to give his team an unlikely 1-0 victory and its first state championship.
The Bishops seek redemption and their 15th state title when they battle Gilbert at 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Gilbert advanced with a 3-2 victory over Indian Land on Wednesday night.
Khouri said what happened at the end of last season was the first thing he talked to his players about at the beginning of the 2011 season.
"To be honest with you, it was really and truly a crazy experience," the coach said. "That was a rude awakening.
"A coach knows it can happen in theory, but you never expect it. I just had to keep my sanity and get the team back here."
The Bishops enter the match with a 16-3-1 record, including an impressive 1-0 victory over Academic Magnet in the Lower State championship. The Bishops were also impressive in a 2-1 victory over Silver Bluff in the Lower State semifinal.
Silver Bluff took the lead on a goal by Eric Reyes in the 10th minute. But the Bishops scored two goals in three minutes late in the first half on scores by Winslow Carroll and Patrick Khouri. The Bishops didn't score in the second half despite taking 25 shots to Silver Bluff's five shots.
"That was a gut-wrenching game," Khouri said. "They scored a goal early, but we came back with two quick goals. We're ready. We know what time it is. We know this is our goal."