By Brandon Carter | Byrnes Contributor
The Dorman Cavaliers prevailed 35-33 over the Byrnes Rebels, in a back and forth thriller between two of the best teams in the state.
It all came down to a fourth down play for Dorman on the opponent 17-yard line. The Cavaliers were already up two points with 7:30 left in the game, but the Cavaliers wanted to make the aggressive call to put the game in their own hands, instead of allowing the Rebels to drive back down the field and take the lead with a touchdown.
So, Dorman made the risky decision to go for it, instead of kicking the chip-shot field goal, and they ran a perfectly executed reverse play–reminiscent of the Philly Special–for a touchdown to extend their lead to two scores and leave the Rebels with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels would in fact score on the ensuing possession, after senior quarterback Lawrence Scott dumped the ball off to senior running back Rahjai Harris, who made two men miss with two nifty juke moves before scoring a 15-yard touchdown
However, the Rebels still trailed 35-33 and needed an onside kick to go their way. While it was a near recovery for the Rebels, Dorman ended up recovering the onside kick.
The Rebels still had one more chance to get the ball back if they could force a three-and-out, but a big first down on the ground by the Cavaliers, immediately ended the Rebels hope and saw them fall for the first time this season.
As a result of the game, Dorman improved to 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in the region while also essentially clinching the Region II-5A title which will give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs. For Byrnes, they slipped to 7-1 and 4-1 in region play.
Dorman has now won four of their last five against the Rebels, really having their number as of late.
Many believe a rematch is imminent between Byrnes and Dorman, as both are likely to meet in the upper state championship to determine the upper state representative in the 5A State Championship game.
Statistically, it could be argued that Byrnes was the better team, out gaining Dorman by 431 yards to 357 yards, but of course, football isn’t that simple.
Lawrence Scott and Rahjai Harris both had solid games once again, with Scott going 12 for 19 passing with 197 passing yards and three touchdowns, while Harris ran 167 yards on 28 carries with two total touchdowns.
The defense however, wasn’t its normal self, allowing numerous big passing plays in the first half. They were able to fix the pass defense in the second half, but then the running game became a problem for the Rebels.
Next week, the Rebels host the Hillcrest Rams in the penultimate game of the season. Hillcrest is 4-4 on the season and 1-4 in region and they are coming off a 30-20 loss to Boiling Springs.
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