The Lugoff-Elgin Demons traveled to Greer on Friday to battle the 10-1 Yellow Jackets in the second round of the South Carolina 3A playoffs. The Jackets boasted an offensive line nicknamed "The Bullies" along with two backs that had combined for over 3600 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns. The Demons have two 1000 yard running backs around half as many scores. When the final dramatic moments concluded, LE was able to have a happy ride home after upsetting Greer, 43-40.
The game would start in a fog that was so heavy you couldn't see the water tower directly behind the press box. Greer would get the kickoff and on the second play from scrimmage, Dominique Parks would take off for a 55 yard run to the Yellow Jacket end zone to take a quick 7-0 lead after a succesful PAT just 50 seconds into the game.
LE would be faced with a 2nd and one from their own 49 on their first possession but a fumble recovered by Greer would give ball back to Greer. The Yellow Jackets would continue to use their running game and Parks would find get his second score of the night with 7:27 left in the opening period. The snap would be high on the PAT, forcing a pass attempt for Greer that fell incomplete in the end zone. As it would turn out, that miss would loom large later in the game.
With the fog continuing to roll in, Lugoff-Elgin would cut the margin in half just over two minutes later. Trent Hudson would take a 23 yard jog for the Demon score. Grayson Quick's PAT was good and LE was in business down by only six at 13-7.
The Demons defense appeared to have held Greer on their next possession on a third down play but a questionable unsportmanslike conduct penalty would give Greer new life on the drive. The penalty would get the Yellow Jackets down to LE's 13 yard line and Efferlan Williams would get rushing touchdown on the next play. The PAT was good and LE was back down by 13 with 2:30 left in the opening quarter.
The rowdy Greer fans began to think this game was going to be a romp with 11:19 to go in the second quarter. Efferlan Williams would get a seven yard touchdown run. A successful PAT put the Jackets up 27-7.
The Demons would not be deterred, however. The fog was finally starting to lift some but a steady rain was falling at Greer's Dooley Field. The Demons would be driving and have the ball at Greer's 32 yard line. LE quarterback, Forrest Koumas, would rare back and find a diving Julian Baxter in the right side of the end zone for an incredible catch and score. This would ignite the Demon fans who made the long drive to the upstate. A succesful PAT would cut the Greer lead to 27-14 with 7:24 left in the second.
The Jackets would continue to score on each possession as Parks would get in for his third TD of the night with 1:57 left. This score came from six yards out. The pat was good, leaving Greer up by 20 at 34-14.
The Demons would use the remaining time wisely as Forrest Koumas would score on a three yard run with 33 seconds left in the half. Another Quick PAT would cut the Jacket lead to 34-21 heading into the half.
Since Lugoff-Elgin won the coin toss and deferred to the second half they would get the ball to start the third quarter. Just 2:16 into the third quarter and the ball at Greer's 35 yard line, Phillip Osborne would thrill the Demon fans one more time. A simple run off right tackle would be called. As LE's offensive line nicknamed "The Unit" of Jared Singleton, Nate Lark, Colby Jones, Michael Branham, and Jacob Lynch would continue to push the pile. Ozzy would bust out of the mass of humanity and race in for the Demon score. The pat was good, and Lugoff-Elgin only found themselves down by six at 34-28.
The Yellow Jackets wouldn't be fazed though. Dominique Parks would find the end zone for the fourth time on the night from only one yard out. This came with 2:34 left in the third quarter. The Jackets would go for the two point conversion in an attempt to go up by two full touchdowns. This would be a sign of things to come as the Demons Pain Train defense would stop the attempt and keep the Greer advantage at 12 points by a score of 40-28.
Lugoff-Elgin would continue to believe they could pull out a win and keep fighting. With 9:33 left in the game, Forrest Koumas would fight his way into the end zone from eight yards away to silence the Greer crowd. Another Quick kick would narrow the Jacket lead to only six at 40-35.
Lugoff-Elgin would get the ball back and begin another drive. As the theme from the movie "Rocky" blared from the Dooley Field speakers, the game turned into a heavyweight bout. With 5:18 left in the game, the Demons landed a blow to the body of the Yellow Jackets. This punch came from Forrest Koumas as he lofted a pass to Davonte Alexander from 34 yards out to give the Demons a one point advantage. LE would then decide to go for two and possibly force Greer to either go for a touchdown for a win or a field goal to tie at worst. Running back Trent Hudson would line up to take a direct snap from center, Michael Branham. Hudson would then roll right appearing to try to run. Instead, Hudson would see Ryan Wannamaker, who lined up as a tight end, and pass it to him near the right pylon in the end zone. A determined Wannamaker would out leap and out muscle the Greer defender to come down with the all so important successful conversion attempt and a three point Demon advantage, 43-40.
Greer would start their next drive at their own 26 yard line and they were driving. With 2:42 showing on the clock, LE's defense would rise up and cause a fumble of Efferlan Williams. The Demons would recover. However, LE couldn't achieve a first down and punt the ball back to Greer.
The Jackets would start the game's final possession of the game at their own 44 yard line with 1:40 left in the game. Greer appeared to land another heavy punch to the Demons body as they pounded the ball inside LE's 10 yard line. With 16.1 seconds on the clock and out of time outs, Efferlan Williams would spike the ball to stop the clock. The next play would either be a gut check or gut wrenching for the Demons. The Jacket's Dominique Parks had accumulated 288 yards rushing for Greer up to that point and accounted for nealy half the total offensive plays. Greer called Parks number to run off of right tackle. The Demons would reach deep inside their soul and snuff out Parks for no gain. With the clock appearing to slowly be ticking closer to zero, Greer would rush their offense off the field and try to get the field goal unit on. Crowds from both sides were wide eyed in anticipation of an attempted field goal, however the clock would reach all zeros prior to getting the hurried kick off and the Demon victory would be secured.
Lugoff-Elgin will continue play the role of road warriors and travel back to the upstate on Friday, November 21 to play the Daniel Lions.
Phillip Osborne - 19 carries/159 yds., 1 TD
Trent Hudson - 13 carries/128 yds., 1 TD; 3 catches/18 yds.
Forrest Koumas - 6 carries/12 yds., 2 TD's; 9/12 passing, 138 yds., 2 TD's
Davonte Alexander - 2 catches/50 yds., 1 TD
Julian Baxter - 2 catches/49 yds., 1 TD
Shane Boling - 2 catches/21 yds.
Campbell Connell - 23 tackles
Ryan Wannamaker - 17 tackles, 1 tfl
Stephen Bonaparte - 16 tackles, .5 tfl
Julian Baxter - 14 tackles
Rakeem Hill - 11 tackles
Greer would accumulate 497 yds. of total offense to LE's 436. Greer would have 25 first downs to LE's 20.
Greer was held to only 150 yds. of rushing yards in the second half and one touchdown. Dominique Parks and Efferlan Williams was in on 65 of 70 total offensive plays. Parks finished the night with 42 carries, 288 yds., and 4 touchdowns.
Demon halftime adjustments included subbing in LE's offensive lineman on the defensive line to get more beef there to try to stop the run.