South Pointe seniors Jadeveon Clowney, Gerald Dixon and Albert Neely slouched across the bench with 6:48 remaining in Saturday's Class AAA state championship game, perhaps shell-shocked at the events that just unfolded.
Myrtle Beach scored two touchdowns in two minutes to take a 27-23 lead, which proved the game's final margin. That ended the Stallions' championship dreams for a second straight season.
While the short-term pain will subside, the impact South Pointe's seniors made on the program won't soon be forgotten.
"We've got 26 seniors, and they've accomplished a lot," South Pointe coach Bobby Carroll said. "We're going to do everything we can to help them play at the next level."
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That shouldn't be a problem with Clowney. The defensive end didn't want to talk to reporters after the game.
In reality, there was little to say.
Clowney did the talking with his play for the last three seasons. He provided game-changing plays throughout the playoff run. He scored eight touchdowns in the playoffs, including three defensive scores.
"That kid had a great career," Carroll said. "Tonight was his 59th career game as a South Pointe football player. He's done everything and more."
Carroll said Clowney, Dixon, Neely, Jojuan Thompson and Bre'Daun Westley helped carry a strong defensive front all season. Dixon and Neely look to be locks to join Clowney at the college level.
Lest we forget the kicker. Landon Ard made touchbacks a Stallions tradition for the past three seasons.
"We accomplished all the goals we set out for and had a great season," Ard said. "We just fell a little short tonight."
It's hard to argue with this group's four-year run of success at South Pointe. This class finished with a 47-10 record. They were sophomores when the Stallions won the Class AAAA Division II title in 2008, advanced to the "Turkey Bowl" in 2009 before this season's 13-2 effort.
Fans also won't forget the 2010 thrill ride. South Pointe was featured on ESPN twice this season, including a 42-20 loss to Northwestern on Aug. 27 and a 14-13 overtime win against Spartanburg on Sept. 24. Perhaps a booster's trailer parked outside Williams-Brice Stadium selling South Pointe gear said it best. A bright red broadside featured silver script that read: "South Pointe: A Tradition of Excellence." Considering the program is only five years in the making, the outgoing class set the bar high for future classes.
"The first year was tough because we really didn't have any seniors," he said. "We were really a 3-AAA team playing in 4-AAAA. " Then Carroll stopped.
"I'm really proud of this group. We like to say we put South Pointe on the map."