It was a scene unlike any after a Goose Creek High School football game in quite a while.
For the first time since early in the 2011 season, a Gators football team trudged off the field a loser. Their streak of 38 straight victories was snapped on Friday night with a 30-27 loss to South Pointe in the second round of the Class AAAA Div. II playoffs.
The loss also ends Goose Creek’s season with a 12-1 record. South Pointe will roll back into town on Friday to take on Stratford in the state semifinals.
It was the final game for 30 Goose Creek seniors.
“They controlled the game in the second half,” Gators coach Chuck Reedy said. “I give them all the credit in the world. They’re a very good football team. We needed to elevate our level of play and we didn’t do that.”
The Stallions (11-2) scored 13 points in the third quarter to build a 30-21 lead heading into the last period. South Pointe seized the momentum with the surge after Goose Creek scored two touchdowns late in the second quarter to take a 21-17 halftime advantage.
South Pointe needed just three plays in the second half to regain the lead. Quarterback Zaylin Burris got loose for a 49-yard run to set up Bree Minor’s 17-yard touchdown run.
Kye Dix’s chip shots from 19 and 25 yards gave the Stallions a 30-21 lead.
Caleb Kinlaw’s 1-yard run brought Goose Creek within 30-27 with 1:31 remaining but the Gators couldn’t get any closer. South Pointe converted a third down to burn off the rest of the clock.
“This team had a good year but wasn’t good enough to get past the second round,” Reedy said. “It is what it is.”
The Gators won the battle of yardage 434-285 but couldn’t work around a number of key gaffes.
South Pointe had a short field to score its first two touchdowns. The Stallions picked off a pass and returned it to Goose Creek’s 9 before Josh Brice’s 1-yard plunge and Dix’s extra point made it 7-0.
After Tyrik Johnson’s 4-yard run and Alex Jacobus’ extra point tied it later in the first quarter, the Stallions returned the ensuing kickoff to Goose Creek’s 28. Six plays later, South Pointe quarterback Zaylin Burris hit Deshawn Davis on a 15-yard touchdown pass, giving the Stallions a 14-7 lead with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
Dix hit a 30-yarder in the second quarter to give South Pointe a 17-7 lead.
The Gators stormed back, though, with a pair of touchdowns in the final 1:40 of the first half to take a 21-17 lead.
Evan McField’s 5-yard run brought the Gators within 17-14 and Dantez Bennamon tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Barnes with nine seconds left in the first half.
Goose Creek raced into the locker room with all the momentum but came back out and South Pointe took over.
The Gators had their chances in the fourth quarter even before Kinlaw brought them closer. One possession bogged down at South Pointe’s 12 when the Stallions held on a fourth-and-1 and another resulted in a missed 35-yard field goal by Jacobus.
Burris had 140 total yards for the Stallions and Minor added 66 yards rushing.
Bennamon was 16 of 27 through the air for 229 yards and a touchdown.
Kinlaw finished with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown but left the game on a couple of occasions with knee problems. McField got 21 carries and 62 yards rushing. Johnson also dealt with an injury and only carried five times for 15 yards.
“They got banged up because they got the heck knocked out of them by their defense,” Reedy said.