HEMINGWAY, S.C. – Like with most games, Lake View coach Daryl King could go back and point to a number of different plays that were decisive Friday in a second-round playoff game against Carvers Bay.
But he’ll probably just stick with the last one. That one sealed a 30-22 victory.
“Bottom line is, when we needed to make a play, we did,” he said. “All the stuff before that is neither here nor there now.”
Instead, the Wild Gators (7-0) can focus on what’s ahead of them – hosting Bamberg-Ehrhardt this week for the 1A lower state championship.
Adarrian Dawkins and Michael McInnis broke up a pass in the end zone as Carvers Bay quarterback Kayshaun Brockington was trying to hit M.J. Bromell for a potential tying score in the final seconds at Big Bear Stadium.
That ended a late-game surge by the Bears (6-2), who were attempting to come back from a 16-point deficit.
“We were one play away against the top-ranked team in the state,” Carvers Bay coach Matt Richard said. “Coming off a 2-5 season, our guys have nothing to hang their heads about. I believe next year we’ll learn our lessons from this and move on and be better.”
The Bears found themselves in a hole thanks to a dominant second half of play by Lake View. For nearly a quarter and a half, the Wild Gators held the ball for all but 11 plays – running 26 of their own by comparison.
“We saw some things in the first half that we were trying to do and we talked to them at halftime and made a couple of adjustments with the line and it worked,” King said. “It wasn’t anything (wrong) really that we were doing in the first half. We just had to get them straight on a couple things.
“But it was a great overall team effort.”
LVHS turned a 14-14 halftime stalemate into a two-score advantage behind its rushing attack. Dawkins put the Wild Gators up 22-14 in the third on a 5-yard run. Ja’Correus Ford – who led all rushers with 26 carries for 187 yards – added his third score of the night in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run as Lake View took a 30-14 lead.
But it was the Carvers Bay passing attack that got the Bears back in the game. Brockington completed three passes of more than 20 yards on their next drive and took it in himself from 3 yards out to cut Lake View's lead to 30-20. He then found Bromell for the 2-point conversion as Carvers Bay was back in business with 3:34 left.
Lake View recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the Bears' defense bowed up to get the ball back at the Carvers Bay 20 with exactly one minute to go.
Brockington guided his team all the way down the Lake View 17 – connecting with Bromell on a 30-yard pass along the way – but his final three pass attempts fell incomplete.
“I think the biggest thing in the second half was we had a few drops that we should have caught, but again we were one play away," Richard said. "We make no excuses. The standard is the standard here.”
Running back Joshua Walker completed his strong junior season with a big game for the Bears. He had 88 yards on 13 carries and both of the first-half touchdowns for Carvers Bay.
Brockington wound up completing 10 of 20 passes for 167 yards with 92 of those going to Bromell and Tony Bell.
Dawkins finished with 94 yards for Lake View while Ford also had two receptions – the only two of the game as the Wild Gators did not attempt a pass in the second half.
Ford scored both of Lake View's first-half TDs on long runs of 61 and 28 yards, respectively.
LV 8 6 8 8 – 30
CB 7 7 0 8 – 22
CB – Joshua Walker 1 run (Perry Javon Walker kick), 6:43.
LV – Ja’Correus Ford 61 run (Adarrian Dawkins run), 1:16.
LV – Ford 28 run (run failed), 8:20.
CB – Josh Walker 15 run (Perry Javon Walker kick), 5:13.
LV – Dawkins 5 run (Dawkins run), 3:26.
LV – Ford 7 run (Michael McInnis run), 6:39.
CB – Kayshawn Brockington 3 run (M.J. Bromell pass from Brockington), 3:34.
RUSHING – LV: Ja’Correus Ford 26-187, 3 TDs; Adarrian Dawkins 16-94, TD. CB: Joshua Walker 13-88, 2 TDs.
PASSING – LV: Derrick Bethea 2-4-11. CB: Kayshaun Brockington 10-20-167.
RECEIVING – LV: Ford 2-11. CB: Tony Bell 5-52; M.J. Bromell 2-40.
RECORDS: LV 7-0. CB 6-2.
NEXT GAME: Lake View will host Bamberg-Ehrhardt next Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the 1A lower state championship.