South Pointe defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Gerald Dixon finally shared the field with Northwestern's Gerald Dixon late in the first half of Saturday's Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
It wouldn't surprise fans of both schools that the North Carolina team faced a third-and-37 two plays later.
Clowney, Dixon and Dixon and Chester's Julius Pendergrass led a South Carolina defense, and Northwestern's Justin Worley manned the offense in a 42-10 win at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium.
The victory featured plenty of York County flavor.
Clowney, the reigning South Carolina Mr. Football, won Defensive Player of the Game honors. He had five tackles and three sacks. He also drew four holding penalties.
North Carolina had just 33 total yards at the half and 75 total yards for the game. That included seven rushing yards.
"I told our coaches, 'I don't know who picked this team,'" Clowney said. "But they picked the best defense ever."
Worley, the 2010 Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year, rotated in at quarterback with Myrtle Beach's Everett Golson and Gaffney's DeEdward Burris on a play-by-play basis. Worley finished 8-of-14 for 109 yards, and the Tennessee commitment shook off an early interception to guide two second-half scoring drives.
"We knew we had a great defense behind us, and that really helped," Worley said. "It was hard to get used to the rotation, and Everett, DeEdward and I knew that coming in. The most important thing was we all got equal playing time."
Dixon and Dixon, half-brothers who are the sons of Rock Hill assistant coach Gerald Dixon, also shared the field for the first time since their youth football days. The Dixons stood together on the sidelines throughout the game, and finally got the chance to "high-five" on it.
As for the Dixon-Dixon-Clowney defensive alignment, both Dixons laughed when asked if they might play together again in the future.
"We got in together a little bit in the first half, and we got to play together all week," South Pointe's Dixon said. "We feel that when you get the three of us on the field at the same time, we can be unstoppable."
Pendergrass, considering East Carolina, Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State, showcased his skills at both running back and safety. Pendergrass recovered a fumble as part of a goalline stand in the second quarter.
He added an interception in the fourth quarter.
"It was all about our defensive line getting pressure on the QB," Pendergrass said. "We worked hard all week, and this feels great."
North Carolina built a 10-0 lead in the first half after a pair of a South Carolina miscues. A bad punt snap put North Carolina on the 20-yard line, but Clowney had a tackle for loss and sack on the next two plays. North Carolina settled for a 43-yard field goal from Trevor Austin.
North Carolina stretched the lead on a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brandon Ellerbe, one that sailed on Worley.
Worley recovered in the second quarter. He fired an 18-yard pass to David Frazier for a first-down, which set up a 3-yard jump pass for a touchdown from Dexter Staley to Jerrell Adams.
South Carolina took the lead with a 33-yard interception return by Quinn Backus on the first play of the third quarter. Worley completed back-to-back passes to Adams and Frazier to set up a 12-yard touchdown by Shon Carson, who won Offensive Player of the Game honors.
"After the interception the key was to complete a few passes and get a rhythm," Worley said. "It felt good to hit a couple passes there."
Burris hit Adams for a 5-yard score in the third quarter, then Clowney and the two Dixons put on a pass-rush clinic to the end the quarter.
Clowney's pressure set up a sack by South Pointe's Dixon on first down. Northwestern's Dixon was held on the next play, and Clowney ended the drive with another sack.
Adams scored his third touchdown on a 19-yard pass from Golson, and Staley capped the scoring with a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"I looked at the North Carolina team and said, 'they have some big boys,'" Clowney said.
"But in South Carolina we can hit, and we can play."
Clowney will play in the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game on Jan. 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and says he will announce his college plans at the game. Worley is graduating early and plans on enrolling at Tennessee for the spring semester. The Dixons also are undecided.
Northwestern's Dixon, however, said the quartet left its mark on Rock Hill area football.
"It was great for us to be on the same field," Northwestern's Dixon said. "We were able to represent the Rock Hill community, our schools and our state well."
SOUTH CAROLINA 42
NORTH CAROLINA 10
NC -- Trevor Austin 43 field goal
NC -- Brandon Ellerbe 44 INT return (Austin kick)
SC -- Jerell Adams 3 pass from Dexter Staley (Grayson Quick kick)
SC -- Quinn Backus 33 INT return (Quick kick)
SC -- Shon Carson 12 run (Quick kick)
SC -- Adams 5 pass from DeEdward Burris (Quick kick)
SC -- Adams 19 pass from Everett Golson (Quick kick)
SC -- Dexter Staley 2 run (Quick kick)
RUSHING -- N.C.: Justus Pickett 6-28; Marquise Williams 1-5; Andre Montgomery 1-0; Jonah Brooks 1-0; Travis Riley 5-minus 1; Chauncy Conception 4-minus 6; Vad Lee 9-minus 19. S.C.: Shon Carson 16-82; Lateek Townsend 8-71; De'Angelo Henderson 3-28; De'Edward Burris 4-16; Julius Pendergrass 2-11; Chase Hames 1-9; Everett Golson 5-5; Dexter Staley 3-3; TEAM 2-minus 54.
PASSING -- N.C.: Marquise Williams 3-9-1-42; Vad Lee 4-8-1-26; Chauncy Conception 0-0-0-0. S.C.: Everett Golson 9-15-0-79; Justin Worley 8-14-1-109; DeEdward Burris 2-2-0-19; Dexter Staley 1-1-0-3.
RECEIVING -- N.C. Justus Pickett 2-28; Chauncy Conception 2-23; Tyrone Thorpe Jr 1-8; Travis Riley 1-6; Andre Montgomery 1-3. S.C.: David Frazier 6-107; Jerell Adams 5-62; Shon Carson 4-1; Donte Sumpter 2-13; Alvonta Jenkins 1-20; Shamier Jeffery 1-4; Charone Peake 1-3.