Even in the shadow of the visitor stands, the grimace on Rock Hill football coach Joe Montgomerys face was visible. The veteran coach was literally left to rue a play here, a play there, as his Bearcats fell 38-34 at Boiling Springs on Friday night.
On fourth and goal from the Rock Hill 1 yard line with 27 seconds left, Boiling Springs quarterback Daniel Thompson perfectly sold a handoff before bootlegging right and finding Collin Reed for the go-ahead score in the contest. Incredibly, Boiling Springs made a hash of the kickoff gifting the Bearcats possession at the Bulldogs 46, and a pass interference penalty put the Bearcats at the Boiling Springs 21 with four downs, but Montgomerys team couldnt cash in. A fade to the right side of the end zone on the games last play fell incomplete giving Boiling Springs a narrow win.
That I refer to as resilience, said Bulldogs head coach Bruce Clark, whose team had to come from behind after leading much of the game.
Were it not for yellow hankies, Clarks team might not have left it so late. The Bulldogs and Bearcats combined for 25 penalty flags, a stat that seemed to hurt the home team more often.
Penalties killed us all night long, said Clark. We had one holding call all year long, and we had six tonight.
Still, the Bulldogs overcame the gaffes with home run plays. Tyrecous Garrett turned a short pass into a 73-yard touchdown in the first half, before Zavier Jeter bust through the Bearcats line for a 73-yard scoring scamper in the second half. The Bulldogs playmakers proved the difference.
I wish we had stepped up a little more defensively, said Montgomery. We gave up two big plays in the second half that really hurt us.
While Garrett and Jeter provided the highlights, Tre-Shaun Sanderlin did the heavy lifting, running the ball 26 times for 140 yards, part of a Bulldogs ground machine that racked up 257 yards rushing. And Thompson, the younger brother of South Carolina Gamecock quarterback Dylan Thompson, threw for nearly 200 yards and three scores.
The game was far different from the two teams last meeting, in 2001 when the Bearcats rolled 48-0. Boiling Springs took a 17-14 lead in a tight first half. Yellow was the color of the first two quarters as penalty flags kept both teams from their fully explosive best.
But Garrett was prominent, accounting for 128 total yards of offensive in the first two periods alone. With the Bulldogs leading 3-0, Garrett hauled in a floated pass from Thompson on a third and 19, busted through a Rock Hill turnstile tackle, and took it 73 yards to the house for a 9-0 lead. Then, he took a snap from the wildcat, set off to run but pulled up and found Reed all alone for a 25-yard touchdown connection, and a 17-7 Bulldog lead.
Jonathan Adams scored his second touchdown of the first half to cut the home sides lead to three at the break, and Rock Hill kept the momentum going, taking the lead in the second half. Josh Erby, who threw for 183 yards and two scores, found Jaleel Scott for a 23-yard TD strike, Scotts first of two touchdowns on the night.
The lead then seesawed into the fourth quarter when Boiling Springs went ahead 31-27. Jeter broke loose and didnt stop running until the rubber track. The 73-yard run put the Bulldogs up with 9:41 left, but Rock Hill ripped off a nearly five-minute march to reclaim the lead, Erby finding Scott with a 1-yard jump ball touchdown on fourth and goal. That put the Bearcats within four minutes of a quality road win, but ultimately they fell short on the games last play. Montgomery was wistful afterward.
Were one play away on defense at the goal line down there, he said, and were one play away with the fade pass.
That was our one shot, but there was another 120 plays that happened before that.
Boiling Springs 38, Rock Hill 34
BSHS Edwin Ramirez 22 yard field goal
BSHS Tyrecous Garrett 73 pass from Daniel Thompson (2 point run failed)
RHS Jonathan Adams 20 run (Harrison Dixon kick)
BSHS Collin Reed 25 pass from Garrett (Reed 2 pass from Thompson)
RHS Adams 6 run (Dixon kick) RHS Jaleel Scott 23 pass from Erby (kick failed)
BSHS Mason Sanders 35 pass from Thompson (Jordan Rivers kick)
RHS Jermaine White 2 pass from Erby (Dixon kick)
BSHS Zavier Jeter 73 run (Rivers kick)
RHS Scott 1 pass from Erby (Dixon kick)
BSHS Reed 1 pass from Thompson (Rivers kick)
RUSHING: RHS: Jonathan Adams 5-30; Josh Erby 8-7; Alec McCoy 12-31. BS : Tre-Shaun Sanderlin 26-140; Tyrecous Garrett 2-13; Zavier Jeter 7-104; Daniel Thompson 2-0.
PASSING: RHS: Erby 11-26-1-2-183. BSHS: Thompson 13-119-1-3-194; Garrett 1-2-0-25.
RECEIVING: RH: Jaleel Scott 3-51; Jermaine White 2-41; Tre Thompson 2-42; Adams 1-19; McCoy 2-46. BS: Collin Reed 5-52; Garrett 4-90; Sanderlin 2-34; Mason Sanders 2-36; Reggie Geter 1-0; Keon Page 1-8.
RHS 1-3; BSHS 3-1
Bret McCormick 803-329-4032