DeEdward Burris chatted up two reporters at midfield when a solitary figure slowly strolled across the nearly empty Reservation turf to pay his respects to the Gaffney quarterback after another scintillating performance.
Rock Hill head coach Joe Montgomery knows a thing or two about greatness in Gaffney having coached the Indians for 12 seasons and winning the 1992 and 1997 state championships.
Burris did most of his damage Friday during the first quarter of Gaffney's 28-3 victory, but that was more than enough time to impress Montgomery, a man the teenager hadn't previously met.
"You're the best quarterback I've seen here since I had Kentrell Jones and they've had a lot of good ones," Montgomery said, referencing the leader of his 1997 squad. "You've got great poise and toughness and sit in the pocket and don't get rattled. How are your grades?"
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The veteran coach then encouraged Burris to keep working hard in the classroom and on the field before making his way toward the departing busses.
"That felt good that he'd come over and do that because I know he's won state championships," Burris said.
Burris showed once again he has the talent and the supporting cast to make a run at his own title this season in beating up on a young Bearcats squad trying to deal with news just a day earlier it had to forfeit three wins due to using an illegal player.
Gaffney's first quarter was a virtual highlight reel with various players vying for the starring role. Among the entries were junior tailback C.J. Miller's 40-yard touchdown run that featured several eluded tackles and great vision in finding the smallest of cracks. The play gave Gaffney a 14-0 lead just over seven minutes in and followed a 40-yard reception by Khris Brown.
Burris then one-upped his teammate on the next possession with a ridiculous 38-yard touchdown scamper where it appeared the majority of the defense had at least a shot of bringing him down as the quarterback swerved and strutted through several changes of direction.
"That was just a broken play," said Burris, who also had a brutish 14-yard run to Rock Hill's 1 on third-and-8 to set up the game's first score on his one-yard run. "I haven't had too many broken plays like that this year and you just try and make something happen."
Burris rushed 10 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns while completing 10 of 16 passing for 200 yards before sitting out the fourth quarter.
GAFFNEY 28, ROCK HILL 3
G - Burris 1 run (Ramirez kick)
G - Miller 40 run (Ramirez kick)
G - Burris 38 run (Ramirez kick)
RH - Burklin 31 field goal
G - Copeland 1 run (Ramirez kick)
RUSHING - Rock Hill: Heyward 15-59, Adams 5-31, Hinton 15-36, Wessinger 7-16, Erby 4-11, Williams 1-4. Gaffney: Burris 10-103, C.J. Miller 7-76, Copeland 4-3, Littlejohn 4-19.
PASSING - Rock Hill: Wessinger 6-10-1-38, Hinton 2-5-0-2, Erby 3-9-1-56. Gaffney: Burris 10-16-0-200, Copeland 0-4-0-0.
RECEIVING - Rock Hill: Jones 4-22, McClure 3-30, Murdock 2-10, Crocket 1-(-4), Killian 2-30. Gaffney: Davis 4-77, K. Brown 4-84, Wood 1-9, Frock 1-30.
RECORDS: Gaffney 6-2, 2-0 Region 4-AAA; Rock Hill 2-6, 0-2