Sports

Players from 1945 game serve as captains

COLUMBIA -- Friday's captains for Clover were seniors Chris Douglas, Dennis Cruz, Will Hall and Kyle Moore. Herb Kirsh, a Clover native who played in the 1945 championship game against Beaufort, joined as an honorary captain. John Rodgers and Henry DeLoach played for Beaufort in 1945 and also served as honorary captains.

• TAKING IT IN: High school coaches from across South Carolina, college scouts and media representatives crammed the sidelines before and during the game. Among them was Northwestern's Jimmy Wallace, one of just two coaches to beat Clover in the regular season.

• SPREADING THE FOOT AROUND: Clover specialized in its kicking -- three separate players booted the ball for the Blue Eagles.

Phillip Blacha handled the punting duties, Brandon Humphries kicked an extra point and Matt Patterson handled the longer field goal attempts. Patterson's 48-yarder cleared the crossbar with plenty of room to spare, giving the Blue Eagles a 3-0 lead in the first period.

• FINAL COUNTDOWN: Mike Ballard served his last game as Clover's head trainer. Ballard is leaving for his alma mater, Northwestern, next season as the Trojans' head trainer.

Unfortunately, Ballard had to work early in the first quarter when Moore hurt his knee on the Blue Eagles' opening drive.

• SUPPORT: A big hand goes out to the Blue Eagles fan base, which clearly had the larger contingent at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Blue Eagles' backers filled nearly two-thirds of the West stands.

Beaufort brought about two-thirds the number of fans as Clover despite being the larger metropolitan area.

• GAMBLER: Clover coach Jet Turner, known for his trickery, rolled the dice again in the championship game, successfully calling a fake punt late in the third period. Tyron Douglas took a direct snap 22 yards for a first down.

The Blue Eagles made it to the championship game partly as a result of Turner's risks. Clover duped Greenwood's special teams for a game-changing fake field goal in the second round of the playoffs.

• BARKING: Senior Matt Endicott perfected his hard snap count for the past three seasons. His count drew Beaufort offside four times in the championship game, including back-to-back encroachment penalties that resulted in a first down.

• PICKS: Clover intercepted five passes in the second half and ended the game 4-of-5 on fourth-down conversions.

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