SUMMERVILLE -- A botched conversion-after-touchdown attempt cost Fort Dorchester its best shot at beating Summerville for the first time in years.
Summerville (8-4) earned a 28-27 victory over Fort Dorchester (7-5) in the opening round of the Class AAAA Division I playoffs. The Patriots' season is over while the Green Wave next plays at Byrnes, a 58-21 winner over Rock Hill.
"We are going to have to play better defense than we did tonight to have a chance," said Summerville coach John McKissick. "We hustled tonight, but we couldn't stop their running backs. However, we got 28 and they got 27, so that's what counts. It's hard to beat a good team twice in one season."
The Patriots pulled within a point of Summerville on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Long to Rodney Gibbs with 1:52 left in the game. However, the holder on the play after pulled the ball up and swept right to try to reach the end zone. After an initial hit by a Wave player, lineman Trey Privette made the tackle well short of the goal line to help secure the win.
"It wasn't a called play," Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. "We fumbled the snap."
The first half was tight until Summerville caught a break on a kickoff after Devon Anderson scored on a 45-yard run. The Fort Dorchester kick returner juggled the kickoff and two Summerville defenders where there before he could secure it. Lacy Pickett recovered the fumble at the Fort Dorchester 1-yard line, and four plays later Jarred Tucker dove into the end zone for a 21-7 Summerville lead.
Fort Dorchester started to move the ball on its ensuing possession, but then defensive back Ryan Fowler stripped the ball away from a Fort running back and dashed 44 yards to the end zone for a 21-point Wave lead.
The Patriots marched 80 yards on and scored on an 11-yard pass from Long to Gibbs to trail 28-14 at the half.
However Summerville failed to get on the board in the second half while the Patriots capped a 74-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run by Long and capped an 87-yard drive with Gibbs' second TD catch of the night to pull within a point.
Anderson rushed for approximately 160 yards and a TD for Summerville before being injured and missing the final 10 minutes of the game. He also had a TD called back on a penalty.
Daitwan Commodore rushed for approximately 100 yards for the Fort and Charles Loftland had approximately 80 rushing yards.
Long threw for nearly 150 yards.
The win is Summerville's 13th straight victory over Fort Dorchester. The Wave now leads the series 19-2.
S -- Chris McKinnon 2 run (Parker Cleveland kick)
FD -- Daitwan Commodore 18 run (Ryan Grainger kick)
S -- Devon Anderson 45 run (Cleveland kick)
S -- Jarred Tucker 1 run (Cleveland kick)
S --Ryan Fowler 44 fumble return (Cleveland kick)
FD -- Rodney Gibbs 11 pass from Ethan Long (Grainger kick)
FD -- Devron Glenn 1 run (Grainger kick)
FD -- Gibbs 12 pass from Long (run failed)