ROCK HILL — Northwesterns trip to the Class AAAA state title took a strange and unexpected turn on Tuesday.
According to the South Carolina High School League, Goose Creek has been kicked out of the playoffs. With the Gators gone, the team they beat in the first round, Conway, will play Bluffton on Friday.
If Northwestern beats West Florence on Friday, the Trojans will host the winner of the Bluffton-Conway game for the Upper Bracket championship next week.
Phil Bowman, who covers high school sports for the Charleston Post & Courier, shared the following information:
The High School League has confirmed that Goose Creek has been disqualified from the Division II-AAAA state football playoffs.
Associate commissioner Dru Nix confirmed the ruling but would not disclose why the defending Division II-AAAA state champs have been banned from postseason play.
You have to talk with school officials at Goose Creek, Nix said. Neither principal Jimmy Huskey nor coach Chuck Reedy could be reached for comment.
The infraction(s) were not made public and can only be disclosed by Goose Creek, which is expected to appeal the ruling on Wednesday.
According to a report, Goose Creek used a fifth-year player. Football players in South Carolina have only four years of eligibility.
• Hot ticket: Tickets for the state playoff game between South Pointe and York will be on sale through Friday, from 11a.m.-2 p.m. at South Pointe. Tickets are $7 and will be available in the schools main lobby.
York, the visiting team, will have tickets available through Friday in the athletics office until 2 p.m.
• Looking ahead: If the playoffs work the way local fans hope, there will be no road trip to Class AAAA Division II semifinals.
If Northwestern beats West Florence, the Trojans will host either Conway or Bluffton for a spot the state championship game.
South Pointe, seeded second in the division, will host a semifinal if the Stallions beat York on Saturday night. York will likely play the semifinal game on the road.
Looking back, Northwestern beat Conway 59-19 in the second game of the regular season. York, the road team, handed South Pointe its only loss, 31-17 in the tenth week of the regular season.
• McKissick: Summerville coach John McKissick won his 600th game several weeks ago with a victory over Ashley Ridge.
The win brought the 86-year-old McKissick to a 600-148-13 record. No other coach at any level has won as many games. McKissick has 18 starters back next year and said hes not ready to retire.
Fridays playoff games
CLASS AAAA DI
Stratford at Gaffney
Spartanburg at Byrnes
Boiling Spring at Dutch Fork
White Knoll at Irmo
CLASS AAAA DII
Conway at Bluffton
Northwestern at West Florence
York at South Pointe
North Augusta at Greenwood
Chester at Daniel
Union County at AC Flora
Strom Thurmond at Hahahan
Hartsville at Socastee
CLASS AA DI
Cheraw at Fairfield Central
Newberry at Central
Edisto at Timberland
Loris at Dillon
CLASS AA DII
Chesnee at Blacksburg
Chesterfield at Abbeville
Bamburg-Ehrhardt at Silver Bluff
Lee Central at Bishop England
CLASS A DI
Ware Shoals at Christ Church
Estill at Johnsonville
CLASS A DII
H-K-Tyler at McCormick
Cross at Lake View
Barry Byers 329-4099