The rain fell, turning the immaculate District Three South Stadium turf into a bog, and clinched the game plan before it was necessary to decide it.
South Pointe would use its bread and butter for this game -- power running, keyed by a superior advantage across the front and the talents of Stephon Gilmore and Devin Wherry.
Not that the Stallions were seriously considering anything else.
"There's just too many bad things that can happen when you throw that football," said coach Bobby Carroll after his Stallions whipped Richland Northeast 41-18 Friday and kept their perfect season going. "If the pass is there, we'll throw it. If (Gilmore) and (Wherry) and the O-line is blocking, if they can run the football, we'll run it."
South Pointe (4-0) gave RNE (1-3) two touchdowns in a 44-21 loss last year, victimized by its own mistakes. A year later, the game plan was the same but the mistakes were gone.
The result was the Stallions' offensive line blew the Cavaliers off the ball, springing Wherry and Gilmore for three first-half touchdowns and a 21-6 halftime lead. Although Wherry was hampered by a slight injury, it and the soggy turf robbing him of his cuts, he and Gilmore had enough to out-run RNE.
"We went through a lot of stuff," Gilmore said, describing his and the team's short journey to a 4-0 start. "It was raining and slippery, we couldn't pass, but when we had to pass, we hit the short routes quick."
Gilmore rushed for 179 yards on a scant 13 carries, scoring four touchdowns. He only threw six times but completed three, passing for 63 yards.
He also chipped in a tackle when he checked in at free safety for a play, just in case there was any doubt he had a complete night.
The rain switched from heavy to light for the duration, and officials waited an extra 90 minutes to start the second half after lightning was spotted.
When it started, on a slick field, it was a question of who would fumble first. The answer was RNE punter Chris Bonds, who couldn't handle a low snap on the first possession of the second half, lost the ball and watched South Pointe's Jabrille Fewell recover and streak 34 yards for a touchdown.
The Cavaliers quickly recovered and scored a touchdown, then regrouping on defense to force a third-and-eight at South Pointe's 26-yard-line. Gilmore didn't mind the spot -- he took the next snap, faked a handoff, split the line and galloped 74 yards for his third score.
The Cavs scored again, cutting the score to 33-18 with 8:00 to go, but the Stallions were in control. Utilizing Wherry almost extensively, South Pointe ground the clock and the ball and walked out of the field a soaking-wet winner.
But not before Gilmore completed a 12-yard pass and took off on a 22-yard jaunt, his fourth touchdown of the night. And Derique Pendergrass intercepted his second pass of the night to squelch an RNE possession inside the 5.
When it was over, the Stallions joyously gathered, most holding up four fingers. Carroll congratulated them and told them the process begins now for next week -- a grudge match with in-city rival Rock Hill.
"We started Wednesday, breaking down film from two or three years ago," Carroll said. "We even got some old Gaffney film from when (Rock Hill coach) Joe Montgomery was at Gaffney."