When Derek White took over at Ben Lippen three years ago, he coined the phrase “Brick by Brick” as the team’s motto.
On Saturday night, the Falcons added the biggest brick of them all.
Running back Bryce Thompson scored on a 10-yard run on Ben Lippen’s first play of overtime to give the Falcons a 27-21 win over Porter-Gaud in the SCISA 3A state championship at Benedict College’s Charlie Johnson Stadium.
The title was Ben Lippen’s first in school history for football.
“This whole week, we have been preaching one more brick because our motto is brick by brick,” Thompson said. “We just listened to coach White and we were focused since beating Hammond last week. We were determined to win this championship because everyone didn’t think we would. But we all played together as a team. Like I said, we got the best team in SCISA.”
Thompson was a big part of the Falcons’ foundation after coming over from Dutch Fork. He sat out last season, but was Ben Lippen’s go-to guy this year. In the title game, he ran it 21 times for 171 yards and three second-half touchdowns and also threw a 52-yard TD shovel pass on a reverse to Ryan Fleming to put the Falcons up 7-0 in the first quarter.
The Virginia Tech commit’s 58-yard run, in which he cut back across the field, put Ben Lippen (9-2) up 19-14 with 5:35 left. Chris Haynesworth’s one-handed grab from Patrick McClure on the 2-point conversion gave the Falcons a 21-14 lead.
“I wouldn’t have done anything without my amazing line,” Thompson said. “They blocked their tails off.”
“That joker can play,” White said of Thompson. “He is committed to this and loves his teammates. All our kids played their guts out. We had about six kids who played both ways.”
Porter-Gaud answered on its next drive as quarterback Oliver Michaud scored on a run up the middle to tie it at 21 with 2:26 left. The Cyclones had a chance to win on the final play of regulation, but Johnathan Weitz came up short on a 50-yard field goal.
In overtime, the Falcons’ defense stuffed running back Eric Jackson on fourth-and-goal from the 2. On Ben Lippen’s first play after the change of possession, Thompson lined up in its “Brick” package, took the direct snap and ran 10 yards untouched for the winning score.
“This means the world to our school and community,” White said. “We have been blessed with people who have been faithful to this football program. God’s blessed us and it is amazing to achieve this.”
Jackson finished with 137 yards and a touchdown, and Michaud had 242 yards and two TDs for the Cyclones, who were making their first title appearance since 2010.
HOW THEY SCORED
BL – Fleming 52 pass from Thompson (Lundberg kick), 3:02
PG – Michaud 5 run (Smith kick), 3:50
BL – Thompson 7 run (kick failed)
PG – Jackson 7 run (Smith kick), 6:40
BL – Thompson 58 run (Haynesworth pass from McClure), 5:35
PG – Michaud 8 run (Smith kick), 2:26
BL – Thompson 10 run
Rushing: PG: Michaud 25-81, Jackson 27-137, Cochrane 1-3. BL: Thompson 21-171, Wright 14-60, McClure 5-6.
Passing: PG: Michaud 13-24-0 161. BL: McClure 1-4-0 0, Thompson 1-2-0 52.
Receiving: PG: Smith 6-58, Cochrane 1-6, Jones 2-22, Main 3-38, Jackson 1-38. BL: Fleming 1-52, Cureton 1-0.
SCISA State Championships
At Benedict College
First Baptist 28, Robert E. Lee 21
Dillon Christian 42, Colleton Prep 0
Ben Lippen 27, Porter-Gaud 21 (OT)
At Wilson Hall
SCISA 8-Man Division I
Wardlaw, 30 Holly Hill 22
SCISA 8-Man Division II
Andrew Jackson 60, W.W. King 18