It wasn’t pretty, but the Loris football team kept its season alive on Friday night.
Ta’Jay Williams connected with Junior Long for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, Levi Moody recovered a fumble in the end zone and the Lions held on to beat Ridgeland-Hardeeville 14-6 to advance to the Class AA, Division I Lower State finals.
“I’m just real proud of our kids,” Loris coach Jamie Snider said. “They were able to find a way to win a road game a long way from Loris.”
The Lions missed a chip shot field goal late in the game that would have put the game out of reach with 1:51 left. Ridgeland-Hardeeville got the ball at its own 20 but was unable to come back.
“It was a good win,” Snider said. “I’m real proud of our kids because they kept fighting.”
Loris has a familiar opponent awaiting in the Lower State finals. Defending state champion Dillon routed Waccamaw 56-0 and will host the Lions next Friday.
“Obviously they’re a great football team,” said Snider, whose team lost 49-7 to the Wildcats at home in the regular season. “We’ll have our hands full. We’re just excited about the opportunity to be in the Lower State championship. It’s a great opponent. It’s at their place and they always play well there.”
A year ago, Loris came one game short of Lower State finals. Now, with a gritty win on the road – one in which the Lions turned the ball over several times – Loris will get a chance to earn a berth in the state finals.
“Offensively we moved the ball well. We just turned the ball over three times in the red zone,” Snider said. “… Anytime you’re on the road and you’ve got a couple turnovers and you win is great. Our kids hung in there and just found a way to win.”
| The Warriors lost to the defending Class AA, Division I champions in the second round of the playoffs.
The Wildcats advanced to the Lower State finals, where they will host Region VIII-AA rival Loris.
The Wildcats have won 13 straight overall against the Lions.