High School Sports

State champs! Down to the wire, Dreher boys win first soccer title

Watch: Dreher boys soccer wins state title in penalty kicks

Dreher defeated Eastside 4-3 in penalty kicks to win Class 4A championship on May 10, 2019.
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Dreher defeated Eastside 4-3 in penalty kicks to win Class 4A championship on May 10, 2019.

After 110 minutes of soccer, Dreher coach Jamie McClendon called for “the shot stopper.”

McClendon brought sophomore goalkeeper John Duncan in for penalty kicks during Friday’s Class 4A championship against Eastside.

Duncan made a huge stop on Eastside’s second kick, and John Platanis hit the game-winning shot in the final round to give the Blue Devils a 4-3 win in penalty kicks and their first state title.

“I told the boys if this goes to PKs, we got a sophomore that I’m going to bring into goal and he is going to save one or two and he is going to help us win the game,” McClendon said. “That is what it takes — every single player, sophomore or freshman or whatever it is — to help you win the game.”

The match was tied at 1 after regulation, then two 10-minute overtimes and two five-minute golden goal periods.

In the penalty kicks, McClendon had determined to bring in Duncan in place of Roland Herbkersman, who made played the entire time in goal and made some big stops during the match.

The move paid off as Duncan made a lunging save to his left on Eastside’s second penalty shot. Then in the fourth round, Eastside missed one off the post.

“Roland is a great goalkeeper and leader but John Duncan is a great shot stopper,” McClendon said. “We knew if we went to PKs, we were going to bring the shot stopper and that is just what he did.”

Duncan said he was ready for the moment. He had a brief warmup on the sideline before being placed into goal.

“Earlier in the season he would say if we had to go to PKs he was going to bring me in. Ever since then I’ve been waiting for this moment, practicing and preparing for this,” Duncan said.

With it tied 3-3, Platanis drilled the final shot of his high school career in the left corner, grazing the finger tips of Eastside keeper Shawn White for the win and setting off a massive celebration.

“I just prayed, went up, did my best and hit it,” Platanis said. “None of this is me. This is the entire team believing in ourselves and I was put in the opportunity by the rest of the team.”

Platanis and some of his teammates started chanting “Chocolate milk! Chocolate milk!” during the celebration. It is the Blue Devils’ tradition to stop at a gas station following a road win for chocolate milk.

Pierce Myrick, Patrick Reaser and Steffen Dreesen also scored for Dreher in penalty kicks.

Dreher was 0-3 all-time in state championship appearances before Friday’s victory. The Blue Devils, who finished second in Region 5-4A, won back-to-back road playoff games over Myrtle Beach and Bluffton to make it to the state championship game.

It was the third straight year Eastside lost in the title match, losing to Chapin the two previous seasons. The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Mario Figueroa scored in the 37th minute.

The Blue Devils tied it in the 57th minute when Jonnie Morgan headed in a corner kick in the 57th minute.

SCHSL Soccer Championships

At Irmo High School


Class 2A Girls

Southside Christian 6, Oceanside Collegiate 1

Class 2A Boys

Oceanside Collegiate 2, Southside Christian 0

Class 4A Girls

South Aiken 4, Eastside 1

Class 4A Boys

Dreher 1, Eastside 1 (Dreher wins 4-3 in PKs)


Class A Boys

Dixie 2, Royal Live Oaks 0

Class 3A Girls

Powdersville vs. Bishop England, noon

Class 3A Boys

May River vs. Indian Land, 2:30 p.m.

Class 5A Girls

JL Mann vs, Wando, 4:30 p.m.

Class 5A Boys

JL Mann vs. Wando, 7 p.m.