Bobcats awaiting SCHSL's decision on football fate

11/19/2012 12:49 AM

11/19/2012 1:03 AM

It's business as usual for Bluffton High School's football team today, even though that couldn't be further from the truth.

The Bobcats (11-2) fell 35-25 to Goose Creek (13-0) on Friday in the second-round of the Class 4-A Division II playoffs, but that may not end their season.

Goose Creek officials will go before the S.C. High School League's executive committee at 2 p.m. today to argue the Gators should not be disqualified from the playoffs for using an ineligible player.

If Goose Creek is disqualified, the Bobcats would play Friday at Northwestern.

"(We) just have to go on as though it's business as usual," Bluffton athletics director Dave Adams said. "Coach Cribb and the team will try to watch film at school, and by the time they get through, maybe they'll hear the announcement on what the result was."

Goose Creek was disqualified from the playoffs Tuesday by the SCHSL for using an ineligible player. On Wednesday, the Gators' appeal was heard in a closed hearing by the executive committee in Columbia, where the disqualification was upheld.

Then on Friday morning, Goose Creek made its case in front of S.C. 9th District Circuit Court Judge Roger Young in Berkeley County that it deserved to be reinstated to the playoffs.

Young ruled Goose Creek could play Friday night but the S.C. High School League would convene in an open hearing before 5 p.m. today, where the Gators could still be ruled ineligible.

After preparing most of the week to face the Conway Tigers, the Bobcats didn't find out they'd be traveling to Goose Creek for their game until about 12:30 p.m. Friday.

"Those kids played their hearts out," Adams said of the Bobcats, who committed six turnovers. "But they made some mistakes, and against a team like that, they needed to play a perfect game."

Adams say he hopes for the "fairy tale story," that if Goose Creek were declared ineligible, the Bobcats would go on to the state championship.

"We learned that if we play other teams like we played Goose Creek on Friday night, we can play with anybody in the state," Adams said.

Adams said the drama would likely end should Goose Creek's disqualification be overturned. He feels Bluffton has nothing to act on.

"We're not really involved with it," Adams said. "It's between Goose Creek and the league. We're just bystanders."

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