CORDOVA - Sumner Cooler was admittedly anything like his last name Friday at Edisto High School.
As he broke the huddle with his Bamberg-Ehrhardt teammates, the first-year starting quarterback was all bundled up by nerves.
After not completing a single pass through the first 46 minutes, B-E had to rely on Cooler's arm to move the football 66 yards or less for the go-ahead score as it trailed 34-32 with 2:03 left.
Fortunately for Cooler, he had a confident Kevin Crosby Jr. on the receiving end of the biggest completion of his career. With 18.4 seconds left, Cooler heaved a 37-yard pass in the direction of Crosby who fought off the Edisto defender to make the catch in the end zone.
"The play was a ‘Go' down the sidelines, but it was underthrown," said Crosby, who had a 20-yard interception return for a score earlier in the quarter. "So I had it in my head I had to get it. We were down, so I had to do it for my team."
The duo then hooked up again on the 2-point conversion to lift the Red Raiders to a 40-34 victory.
It was the 14th straight regular-season victory and ninth straight in the series for B-E (2-0), which fell behind as many as 15 points in the second half. The running game carried the offense as Chip Wannamaker rushed for 170 yards on 21 carries and Demetrius Odom had 11 carries for 101 yards.
The final outcome drew contrasting emotions on both sides. As the B-E fans hugged and celebrated on the field with the players, Edisto's Andy Palmer consoled a tearful DeShawn Stevenson, who rushed for two touchdowns in a losing effort.
"It was back and forth all the way back through," Palmer said. "Both teams battled hard. We stood toe to toe. They stood toe to toe. They had their last opportunity to go down the field and it was too short a time for us to have a chance to go back at them. We should have made a stop. We didn't make a stop and they made a play.
"Neither team deserves to lose here in this situation, but that's the way the game is and so, we're going to have to battle and keep them resilient because our kids fought our hearts out tonight."
Parker gave Edisto early momentum after sacking B-E quarterback Cooler for a 10-yard loss on 4th and 1. After an 8-yard run by Stevenson, Maxwell connected with Patriel Guess for a 38-yard reception to the B-E 1.
This set up the first of Stevenson's two, first-quarter touchdown runs which put the Cougars ahead 7-0.
It only took the Red Raiders 11 seconds to respond as Will Priester took the kickoff from his own 15, found an opening and outran the Cougars enroute to a game-tying 85-yard touchdown.
Edisto came back with an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by a 15-yard scoring run by Stevenson. Early in the second quarter, a 39-yard run by Wannamaker on B-E's next series set up a 2-yard keeper by Cooler.
The Cougars kept the lead at 14-13 as a botched snap prevented the Red Raiders from converting the extra point.
Maxwell used his arms and legs to extend Edisto's advantage. After a Herculean-like 27-yard run in which he seemingly bounced off every B-E defender, Maxwell scrambled away from pressure and floated a pass downfield to an open Guess who crossed the endzone for a 46-yard touchdown.
Maxwell finished the first half with 133 of his 244 total yards of offense, which was more than double B-E's 61 passing and rushing yardage. He completed 9-16 passes for 164 yards and rushed for a team-high 80 yards, but did not see action offensively until the two-minute mark of the third quarter.
During that span, the Cougars extended their lead to 28-13 after Parker recovered a fumble by Cooper at the Edisto 6 and rushed 94 yards for the score.
Sticking with the running game, B-E put together another sustained drive which ended with an 8-yard bootleg touchdown run from Cooler to cut the deficit to 28-19.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Wannamaker took the sweep and scampered 55 yards to the Edisto 15. Odom needs just two runs to reach the goal line and bring the Red Raiders to within two points,
B-E quickly regained possession and a 44-yard run by Odom appeared to have it set up for a go-ahead score. Instead, Brent Cook's 35-yard field good attempt was ruled wide left.
Edisto's joy was short-lived as Crosby stepped in front of Maxwell's pass and raced into the end zone for the touchdown. The Red Raiders' 2-point conversion failed, leaving them holding a 32-28 advantage with 5:22 left.
Maxwell quickly revived the Cougars' spiritswith a 42-yard run on first down and converting a fourth-down pass to Guess for 12 yards. The completion set up Davon Long's 3-yard touchdown run.
B-E had a final opportunity. Facing 3rd and 7 from the B-E 37, Cooler found Landon Sandifer for a 12-yard gain. A 12-yard run by Cooler with 40.1 seconds left set up his game-winning touchdown pass to Crosby.
"We had to end up throwing the ball," B-E head coach Kevin Crosby Sr. said. "They did a great job of stopping us on the run and having us boxed in. You've got to be able to throw the ball in situations like that and I thought late in the game, the coaches did a great job of getting the ball where we could get it in our playmakers' hands. It was just a hard-fought game."
Edisto had one more chance, but were unable to turn a play as time expired. Even with the win, Crosby expected a mixed reception at his household Friday night.
"First off, my daddy is going to yell at me about those penalties," said the younger Crosby, referring to the excessive celebration flag after his score. "But all of the coaches and teammates are proud of me."
E - Stevenson 1 run (kick good) - 5:28
B-E - Priester 85 kickoff return (kick good) - 5:17
E - Stevenson 15 run (kick good) - 1:02
B-E - Cooler 1 run (kick failed) - 10:53
E - Guess 46 pass from Maxwell (kick good) - 8:38
E - Parker 90 fumble recovery (kick good) - 5:38
B-E - Cooler 8 run (kick failed) - 2:02
B-E - Odom 10 run (kick good) -11:15
E - Long 3 run (kick failed) - 5:22
B-E - Crosby 37 pass from Cooler (pass good) - 18.4 seconds