DUNCAN - Another senior class, another perfect run at home.
With senior running back Marcus Lattimore and senior quarterback Chas Dodd leading the way, Byrnes defeated Spartanburg 51-16 on Friday night, securing another state final in the process.
The Rebels (13-1) will play Spartanburg County and Region 2-AAAA rival Dorman next Saturday at noon in the Class 4A, Division I state championship game at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The victory was the Rebels' 62nd in a row at Nixon Field. This group of seniors is the fifth in a row to go unbeaten at home.
"I got a little emotional before the game," Lattimore said. "It really didn't sink in till I got on the field. I just ran my heart out and played my hardest."
That was evident. Spartanburg (5-9) got to Lattimore early on several carries but couldn't bring him down. He wound up with 19 carries for 186 yards and four touchdowns.
Dodd completed 19 of 26 for 296 yards, including scoring tosses of 27 yards to Torian Richardson and 29 and 9 yards to Craig Weick.
Spartanburg hung tough in the first half, trailing 30-16, but Byrnes scored on all three of its second-half possessions - all on Lattimore runs - to pull away.
"We're supposed to come out and shock them like we do every game, but we didn't do that," Dodd said. "We ended up scoring more in the end, but as long as we come out with a 'W', it's fun.
"It's awesome getting to play with a group of guys like this and getting to do what we did."
Byrnes hasn't lost at home since November 2001. These Rebels keep track.
"It's a feeling like none other," said senior defensive end Corey Miller. "It's a legacy. You don't want to be the senior class that loses. You don't want to be the senior class that gives it up. That's the respect and pride that we have for this program."
"That's pretty impressive on this field," Byrnes coach Chris Miller said of the streak. "You think you'll let us play on this field for the state championship?"
Not quite. The Rebels will be at Williams-Brice Stadium when they compete for their third consecutive state championship and their seventh in the past eight years.
"It's a dream every year, it's a fight and these kids work so hard every year to get to this point," Chris Miller said. "We've got a saying that 'We're cranking the buses.' The buses will take us to Columbia."
"I'm ready to crank the buses and face that crosstown rival," said Corey Miller.
The teams met earlier this season at Nixon Field, and Byrnes earned a 17-10 victory.
As for Lattimore, he already was looking forward to extending the home streak.
"They're not gonna lose next year," he said. "I'm not even worried about it. It's tradition, and we've gotta keep that going."