Putting South Pointe football in human years, the Stallions - in their fifth season of varsity football - would be in kindergarten.
But considering where coach Bobby Carroll's team has been and what he, his assistants and an overload of talented players have accomplished in such a short time, South Pointe is more like a straight-A student preparing to graduate from high school.
They can add another page to their resume at 7:30 tonight, playing a home game against Region 4-AAA rival Fairfield Central for the Upper State championship.
The graduation gift would be a trip to the state championship game Dec. 4 at USC's Williams-Brice Stadium against the the winner of tonight's Myrtle Beach at Bluffton game.
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Both teams are 12-1. South Pointe is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
"When you get this deep into the season, if you don't know how to block and tackle, if you don't know the plays, you don't need to be playing,'' said Carroll."Usually with a game like this one, you take it a little easier to avoid injuries at practice.
"But Fairfield is a physical team, and we felt we had to put on the pads and do some hitting this week. But we've used quick whistles; trying to keep our guys standing up to make sure nobody got hurt.''
Tonight's game is the second of the season between the Stallions and Griffins. They played on Oct. 15 in Winnsboro, with the region title pretty much going to the winner.
It was not the best-looking of games his team played this season, Carroll admits, pointing to the Stallions' five turnovers, but the 17-7 win was a turning point for his young team.
Starting quarterback Tay Hicklin was ejected late in the first half, and backup Devin Pearson finished under center. He accounted for the turnovers, but the next week Pearson rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns in a win over a good Chester squad.
Since then, the Stallions have developed more offensive consistency, with Hicklin's move to wide receiver helping, too, because he also is one of the team's top defensive backs.
South Pointe is an explosive team capable of scoring on either side of the ball. The Stallions have scored 50 or more points in six games. They have outscored their opponents 503-160, including a run of 119-27 in three playoff games.
"We are a different team than the first time we played (Fairfield Central), but so are they,'' Carroll said. "The have gone away from the shotgun and four wides to running more two-back and power-I sets.
"But they are still very physical, and we have to be prepared for that.''
This is the third straight year the Stallions have made it to this round of the playoffs. The did it in 2008 as a Class AAAA Division II team and beat Berkeley a week before knocking off rival Northwestern in the championship game.
South Pointe was still in Class AAAA last year and on the brink of going back, but the Stallions lost to Northwestern and missed the finals.
Carroll has told his players not to worry about what happened last year and to concentrate on the game at hand, but one Stallion said it's hard not to make a comparison.
South Pointe beat Northwestern 30-7 last year in the regular season. The Trojans won the rematch 24-7 and went back to the state finals instead of the Stallions.
"We don't worry about that because it's done,'' senior defensive back Trey Mackey said. "But you think about it only because you want to make sure it doesn't go the same way this year.
"Fairfield Central is a good team, can beat anybody, and they are the most physical team we've played. After our first game, I think everyone on our team was sore. But I'm thinking it had to be the same way for them.''
South Pointe was 3-8 its first varsity season in 2006, playing without seniors. Since then, Carroll has led his team to a 46-9 mark, including 15-0 in the 2008 championship year.
Fairfield Central has long been a Class AAA power. The Griffins have five region titles and a pair of state championships - 1996 and 1997 - since 1996.
When it comes to being physical, South Pointe can bring it with the best of them. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is considered the nation's top overall player and has his pick of schools at the next level. Gerald Dixon is on the opposite end and is very popular with Division I coaches.
"We're extremely lucky to be practicing on Thanksgiving again, to play (tonight) in another Turkey Bowl,'' Carroll said.
"We hope we have everything straightened out, have our guys ready to play.
"When you make mistakes like we did in our first meeting, five turnovers, it drops your chances of winning by 85 percent. We were lucky to hold on and win that one. But we like to think it also had a lot to do with how bad our players wanted it.''