CHESTER - Chester coach Maurice Flowers faced a tough task choosing who would receive the game ball in a dramatic 24-21 victory against Lugoff-Elgin on Friday.
Quarterback Tevin Worthy deserved mention. Filling in for all-state and all-America candidate Tony McNeal, Worthy did an admirable job in directing the Cyclones' offense. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Most importantly, Worthy came up huge in directing the Cyclones on their 80-yard drive that ended with Marshall Whitesides' game-winning 20-yard field goal as time expired.
Then again, the game ball could have gone to the offensive line, which cleared the way for a power running game that produced 163 yards.
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Or it could have went to the defense, which for three quarters pitched a shutout before the Demons capitalized on two Cyclones turnovers in the fourth quarter and produced 21 unanswered points to tie the score.
Finally, there was the kicking game, with Whitesides connecting on all three point-after attempts and splitting the uprights on the field goal - certainly the biggest kick of his career.
"Let's just say that the game ball went to the team," Flowers said after a midfield meeting with his players. "We have so many game balls to give out.
Fifth-ranked Chester (6-1, 1-1 Region 4-3A) lost its momentum after leading 21-0 following an early fourth-quarter score.
Lugoff-Elgin answered with a 69-yard scoring pass from Forrest Koumas to Devonte Alexander. Following a Cyclones fumble at their 38-yard line, the Demons scored again when Julian Baxter broke free on a 14-yard scamper.
Lugoff-Elgin got a key interception and returned the ball inside the 5, and tied the score with 6:06 remaining.
Chester took the ensuing kickoff and converted three fourth-down attempts.
Worthy completed 3-of-4 on the drive, including a 10-yard strike to Correll Kennedy at the 10 with 47 seconds remaining. Julius Pendergrass ran to the 3-yard line, setting up the game-ending drama with 3.1 seconds remaining.
"I wasn't really worried because it was just like an extra-point kick," Whitesides said.
Lugoff-Elgin 0 0 0 21-21
Chester 7 7 0 10-24
C - Tevin Worthy 1 run (Marshall Whitesides kick)
C - Worthy 42 pass to Deon Strong (Whitesides kick)
C - Julius Pendergrass 1 run (Whitesides kick)
L-E - Forrest Koumas 69 pass to Devonte Alexander (Grayson Quick kick)
L-E - Julian Baxter 14 run (Quick kick)
L-E - Koumas 1 run (Quick kick)
C - Whitesides 20 field goal
First downs 21 9
Rushes-yards 47-163 29-76
Passing 152 85
Comp-Att-Int 14-25-1 3-11-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
RUSHING - Lugoff: E.J. Ruiz 3-26, Stephen Bonaparte 7-17, Davonte Alexander 2-3, Julian Baxter 7-37, Zach Connell 2-6, Forrest Koumas 6-(-9), Josh Ruiz 1-1, Will Dorton 1-(-5). Chester: Julius Pendergrass 18-70, Brent Minter 19-79, Tevin Worthy 10-14.
PASSING - Lugoff: Will Dorton 1-2-0-11, Forrest Koumas 2-9-1-74. Chester: Tevin Worthy 14-25-1-152.
RECEIVING - Lugoff: Zach Connell 1-11, Davonte Alexander 1-69, Julian Baxter 1-5. Chester: Julius Pendergrass 1-5, Correll Kennedy 2-20, Bobby Kelly 5-24, Deon Strong 4-87, Brent Minter 1-0, Deterrion Hardin 1-16.