GOOSE CREEK — The South Pointe Stallions were down by four at the half, and felt pretty good about their chances in Fridays Class AAAA, Division II semifinals against Stratford in Goose Creek.
But the Knights carried the home crowd momentum in the second half for a 36-13 victory and trip to face Northwetern in the state championship game next Saturday in Columbia.
The previous week, the Stallions were down four to Stratfords rival Goose Creek, but responded with 13 unanswered points for a 30-27 road victory.
Led by All-American candidate Jacob Park, a University of Georgia recruit, the Knights blew the contest open with 19 unanswered points after halftime.
Parks completed 23-of-30 attempts for 252 yards and three touchdowns, and also added another score on the ground.
Meanwhile, South Pointe, who usually is very productive on the ground, could only muster minus-4 rushing yards for the contest.
Coming into this game, we felt we had to be able to run the football and we were unable to do that tonight, Stallion coach Strait Herron said. We did not have good field position throughout the game and we had several breaks to go against us.
South Pointe did get the early break when defensive back Josh Massey intercepted a pass and returned it 30 yards for a 7-0 lead. Another break came when Stratford lost a fumble at its own 15 with 3 minutes remaining before the half.
That set up a 7-yard touchdown run from Josh Brice, pulling South Pointe within four, 17-13 at intermission. Unfortunately for the Stallions, those would be their only points.
Stratford used a smothering run defense to frustrate South Pointe, and took advantage of three turnovers for scores.
Herron told his team after the game that despite the loss, the season was successful, particularly with the adversities they have faced.
I am more proud of this team than any other that I have had. We have been through a lot, but did a good job. You guys just kept coming and never quit.
South Pointe, which is moving down a class to AAA next season, finished the season 11-3 after playing in their fifth straight Upper State finals. Stratford improved to 12-2.
Stratford 36, South Pointe 13
South Pointe;7;6;13;0 - 30
Stratford;10;7;9;10 - 27
SP Josh Massey 30-yard interception return (Kyle Dix kick)
ST Jacob Park 6-yard run (Tyler Tecak kick)
ST Tyler Tecak 28 yard field goal
ST Park 7-yard pass to Thad Thompson (Tecak kick)
SP Josh Brice 7-yard run (kick failed)
ST Safety-punt snapped out of endzone
ST Park 51-yard pass to Jordan Johnson (Tecak kick)
ST--- Park 38-yard pass to Jared Tehurne (Tecak kick)
ST---Tecak 27-yard field goal