Green Sea Floyds de­feats La­mar to cap his­toric sea­son with the school’s 1st foot­ball state ti­tle

The Sun News (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY T.J. LUNDEEN

Don­nie Kiefer came to Green Sea Floyds with the prom­ise of state cham­pi­onships. On Fri­day, he and his play­ers de­liv­ered the first on that prom­ise, de­feat­ing La­mar 26-20 in a wild fin­ish to bring home the S.C. Class A state ti­tle.

The Tro­jans (11-3) scored all 26 of their points in the first half, when they went back-and­forth with La­mar’s po­tent at­tack. In the sec­ond half, both de­fenses con­tained the scor­ing in the third quar­ter and much of the fourth be­fore Green Sea Floyds clung to a six-point lead late in the game.

“It was on us late in the game and we had to step up and stop them one more time to bring home the ti­tle,” said Green Sea Floyds se­nior line­backer Josh Slo­bo­diak. “We’ve worked for this for (more than) three months; I’ve been work­ing for this for four years. This is an un­be­liev­able ac­com­plish­ment for this school and for all of these fans that came out to sup­port us all year.”

For the Green Sea Floyds foot­ball pro­gram, which has been around since 1976, the vic­tory over La­mar earns the Tro­jans their first state cham­pi­onship. Kiefer wants the com­mu­nity to get used to the suc­cess and com­pet­ing for state cham­pi­onships.

“(This was) just a phe­nom­e­nal night,” he said as his team pa­raded on the field with the cham­pi­onship tro­phy. “It’s the first time ever; it’s not some-


Green Sea Floyds se­nior line­backer Josh Slo­bo­diak

thing that’s hap­pened be­fore – not even close. When I first came here, I told them we were com­ing here to win state cham­pi­onships; we’re not com­ing here for medi­ocrity. 6-6 has to be a bad year from here on out and the kids have bought in.”

Green Sea Floyds and La­mar put on an early scor­ing bar­rage, with six com­bined touch­downs in the game’s first 10 pos­ses­sions. La­mar scored twice, once on a short 12-yard drive and again on an 81-yard drive. Green Sea Floyds scored touch­downs on four con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions.

La­mar was gifted a short field by a Green Sea Floyds fum­ble, lead­ing to a 1-yard scor­ing run by Rashad John­son. The Tro­jans would re­spond with a Jaquan Dixon 42-yard run on a two-play drive. La­mar’s fi­nal score of the quar­ter came on Jac’Quez Lu­cas’ 66-yard run fol­lowed by a two point con- ver­sion that gave the Sil­ver Foxes a 14-6 lead.

From there the Tro­jans took over for the rest of the half.

Green Sea Floyds scored three touch­downs to end the first half on an 11-yard pass from Bubba El­liott to Dixon, a 3-yard run by Dixon and a 15yard run by El­liott to give the Tro­jans a 26-14 lead at the break.

The Tro­jans dom­i­nated sta­tis­ti­cally in the first half with 13 first downs and 326 yards of of­fense com­pared to 166 yards for La­mar.

But Green Sea Floyds would not threaten the end zone in the sec­ond half.

“We were hot of­fen­sively early, then we got a bit con­ser­va­tive try­ing to run some clock,” Kiefer said. “We get a state cham­pi­onship, so we’ll take it.”

The Tro­jans main­tained their 12-point lead un­til Jalen Lan­g­ley hit Der­rick Hig­gins for a 37-yard TD pass with 3:34 re­main­ing to force the Tro­jans to make big plays on de­fense in the fi­nal cou­ple min­utes.

Kiefer was tasked with mak­ing a de­ci­sion that had the po­ten­tial to de­cide the game, go­ing for it on fourth-and-inches on his own 15-yard line.

The Tro­jans wouldn’t con­vert and La­mar was gifted a chance to snatch a state cham­pi­onship away from the en­tire Green Sea com­mu­nity.

“We talked about it, the kids were adamant. I wanted to punt the ball and play de­fense, but the kids were beg­ging us,” Kiefer said. “They were say­ing ‘Coach, it’s our se­nior year, we can get that yard.’ I didn’t feel good about it, we went for it and didn’t get it, but then we played de­fense. In the end it all washed out.”

The state ti­tle came on the back of an ex­cep­tional game from Dixon, who rushed for 247 yards and two scores on 20 car­ries. He also caught two passes for 20 yards, with a re­ceiv­ing score as well.

“He’s al­ways phe­nom­e­nal, but it’s a team game,” Kiefer said of his stud run­ning back. “If not for the line­men, tight ends and other backs, those things don’t hap­pen. I’m happy for him, but he will be the first one to tell you the credit goes to those guys up front.”

All sea­son, Kiefer’s team – and all of Horry County – has dealt with ad­ver­sity. The Green Sea com­mu­nity was hit hard by Hur­ri­cane Florence and the en­su­ing flood­ing, and the Tro­jans missed a chunk of the sea­son and school year. But noth­ing was go­ing to stop them from se­cur­ing the ti­tle.

“It’s just phe­nom­e­nal. God blessed us all year long,” Kiefer said. “…It was tough, we were out for an en­tire month, we played a game Sept. 7 and didn’t play again un­til Oct. 6 and then we prac­ticed four days be­fore we played that game. … Ev­ery­thing they’ve done in the weight room, our strength pro­gram is sec­ond to none and these kids bust it ev­ery day. We give God the glory and we give credit to the play­ers.”

Kiefer’s team fea­tured 11 se­niors, but re­turns key con­trib­u­tors in An­wain Gra­ham, El­liott and Dixon for an­other run at a cham­pi­onship, this time with a tar­get on their backs.

The Sun News

Green Sea Floyds cel­e­brates its state cham­pi­onship on the field at Charles W. John­son Sta­dium at Bene­dict Col­lege in Columbia on Fri­day.

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