David needed a single stone. Then again, he had to drop only a single giant.
The Clinton High football team was handed the tallest order in the Class 3A bracket, but the Red Devils have dropped every giant they have faced.
In advancing to today's state championship, Clinton knocked off three top seeds and three region champions.
The Red Devils finished the regular season in a four-way tie for first place in Region 3-3A but earned the fourth seed. That pitted Clinton against Region 4 champion Fairfield Central, which the Red Devils dismantled 35-0. Clinton marched through two-seed Belton-Honea Path 39-13 in the second round, before edging its region rival, top-seeded Union, 17-14.
Clinton advanced to the Upper State championship game, where the Red Devils met Western 3A champion Daniel, which entered the game with a 13-0 record. Daniel left the game 13-1, as Clinton dropped the Lions 35-28.
Now, Clinton must pull another stone out of its sack for perhaps its most formidable foe, defending state champion Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach (13-1) is riding a 12-game winning streak to Byrnes on Sept. 4. The Seahawks are led by junior quarterback Everett Golson, who has passed for 3,258 yards, 45 touchdowns and two interceptions. Myrtle Beach has given up 11.3 points per game during the playoffs.
However, the Red Devils have not been swayed by seeds, streaks or stats, carrying the rock-solid resolve to meet any challenge.
"We're the underdogs," Clinton senior Kenny Cook said. "We've been on a roll the whole playoffs. We've played three No. 1 seeds, so we've been in this situation before."
"Nobody gave us a chance to beat Fairfield. Nobody gave us a chance to beat Daniel," Clinton coach Andy Young said. "They believe they can, and if they believe they can, they can."
The Red Devils' resolve might sound like a line from the "Little Engine That Could," but Clinton has been more like a runaway locomotive, fueling its playoff run on the strength of its running game.
The Red Devils have compiled 3,196 rushing yards this season, an average of 228.3 per game. That grinding attack has helped Clinton wear down defenses as well as the clock. In the victory against Daniel, Clinton maintained possession for more than 60 percent of the game.
Young hopes to continue that trend today, so that Golson will spend as much time on the sideline as possible.
"That's fun because we know the offense is keeping the ball," said Cook. "Most teams that run the spread want the ball really quick, but they are on the sideline. When they get the ball, they try to score quick. They get frustrated, and then they make bad plays.
"We know (Myrtle Beach) is good. They are the defending champs, so they have to be good. We're just trying to shoot for whoever's on top."
And doubting this team's aim would be stone crazy.