Hyleck Foster ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns, and Gaffney stayed on its collision course with a state championship, knocking off rival Byrnes, 21-19 on Friday night in the Class 4A Division I semifinals at The Reservation.
The Indians (11-3) advance to face Dutch Fork in Friday’s state championship at Williams-Brice Stadium.
It was Byrnes’ second loss of the season to Gaffney, which also won the regular-season matchup.
After a scoreless first half, the Rebels (11-3) jumped out to a 13-0 lead on Shuler Bentley’s 1-yard scoring run and a blocked punt for a scoop-and-score less than five minutes later. Lyrics Klugh returned the blocked kick 10 yards, but the point-after was off the mark.
Gaffney then ran off three straight scores, bookending a O’Bryant Davidson 30-yard interception return for a score with two touchdowns from Foster.
Greg McHam scored on a 9-yard scoring pass from Bentley to bring the Rebels to within two, but the tying, two-point conversion pass fell incomplete.
The Rebels have lost their last two trips to Gaffney, including 22-18 last month. Their last playoff trip at Gaffney came in 2006, which resulted in a 16-13 loss.