Stackley delivers: Sandlappers win Shrine Bowl
Stratford coach Ray Stackley guided the underdog South Carolina squad to a 23-19 win over North Carolina in the 76th annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, played at Wofford College on Saturday.
“It’s a great honor to coach in this game and it’s great to win,” said Stackley. “It’s such a big challenge. Our staff did a great job since last spring when we started looking at this thing and those guys worked hard.”
Stratford’s cheerleading squad and offensive line coach Tony Smith were also part of the South Carolina side.?The Sandlappers put together two 80-yard touchdown drives and a 90-yard drive, which accounted for nearly all of the total offensive yardage. The South Carolina defense came up with eight tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and three interceptions.?North Carolina outgained South Carolina, 284-224, but 75 yards came on the last scoring drive of the game, late in the fourth quarter.?“When they start that ball game, it’s 0-0 so nobody wins the game before it starts,” Stackley said. “All the experts said they would win but we came here to win the game. Our number one goal was to win the game. Our kids focused on that all week … I think our kids played with a little chip on their shoulder.”?Ben Boulware of T.L. Hanna High was the South Carolina defensive Most Valuable Player. Boulware had nine tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception.?“It was a lot of fun, a great time,” said Boulware, a Clemson verbal commitment. “It feels good to win. They had a bunch of highly-rated recruits. I hate that stuff because all that is based on heights, weights and how fast you can run the 40.”
Greenwood linebacker Davon Durant also had nine tackles and a fumble recovery. York’s Lee Wright had seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a key interception in the endzone to thwart one scoring drive.?Goose Creek defensive end Gerald Turner had six tackles and an interception as well. Turner is headed to South Carolina.
On offense, Hilton Head quarterback Michael Julian completed nine-of-23 passes for 147 yards with Conway receiver Malcolm Green catching three passes for 98 yards. Green was South Carolina’s offensive most valuable player.?The game started bad for local standout Tramel Terry and the South Carolina squad when Terry injured his left knee on the opening kickoff. Terry, who fumbled on the play, setting up North Carolina’s first touchdown, did not return to action and was carted off the sidelines to the locker room in the second quarter. Terry was named the state’s Mr. Football a week earlier and is set to enroll in Georgia next month.?“I’m real sad about that,” said Stackley. “What a great young man Tramel Terry is. I hate that. It’s easy to see why he is Mr. Football in our state. He’s a real class kid. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not something bad.”
Trailing 6-0 early, South Carolina put together a 10-play, 90-yard drive, highlighted by a 45-yard pass connection from Julian to Green. Ashley Ridge running back Romelo Doctor tied the game with a two-yard run with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter.?The Sandlappers took a 9-6 halftime lead on Ben Hinson’s 21-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. Hinson, from Irmo, averaged 43.3 yards on seven punts during the game.?After North Carolina took a 13-9 lead with 6:42 to play in the third quarter, the Sandlappers answered with two touchdown drives.?Conway’s Mykal Moody capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a five-yard run with 14:03 to play in the game, giving South Carolina a 16-13 lead.?Later in the quarter, Julian and Keinan Lewis (Belton-Honea Path) combined on a 14-yard pass play with 3:14 to play, pushing the lead to 23-13.?North Carolina closed the game with a touchdown drive, scoring with 36 seconds left. South Carolina recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock, giving Stackley and the Sandlappers their upset victory.?“I’ve had some great things happen to me in my career and this ranks up there,” Stackley said. “It means a lot to be able to work with such great coaches and such great young men. These kids and these coaches are the ones that deserve the credit.”?South Carolina now holds a 42-30-4 edge in the series.