Orangeburg Prep senior quarterback Will Shaw’s fourth-and-goal touchdown pass to senior Will Summers with 4:18 left in the game lifted the Orangeburg Prep Indians to a come from behind 19-14 victory over the Robert E. Lee Academy Cavaliers in a first round SCISA Class AA Playoff in Orangeburg Friday night.
The Indians (8-2 record) now advance to the second round of state playoffs next Friday, Nov. 15 to play in Darlington County against Trinity-Byrnes, who defeated Northwood Friday night.
After the game, Orangeburg Prep head coach Andy Palmer said the win was a complete school effort.
"That was a great football team (Robert E. Lee). It was a great win, great winning spirit, with the support of the students, faculty, cheerleaders and everyone else," Palmer said. "I couldn’t be prouder of them. We have this win-and-advance motto and we’ll go to Darlington next week and see what we can do.”
The Indians got on the scoreboard first at the 1:04 mark of the first quarter on a five-yard touchdown run by sophomore Amir Tyler, making the score 7-0 in favor of OP after Peyton Inabinet’s PAT was good.
The Cavaliers, who saw their season end with a 9-3 record, tied the game at 7-7 with 10:49 seconds left in the second quarter on a 22 yard touchdown run by senior Jet Smith. Smith added the PAT.
The Cavaliers took their only lead of the night with 5:48 left in the half on a short touchdown run by Smith, giving REL a 14-7 lead at halftime.
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The Indians wasted little time getting back in the contest after the break, as Indians kick returner Amir Tyler returned the opening kickoff of the second half 75 yards for a score. The PAT was blocked, leaving the home-standing Indians trailing 14-13.
The Indians' final touchdown was set up by junior Zach Felkel’s kickoff return to the 10 of Robert E. Lee. A fumble by the Indians on third-and-goal from the five was recovered by the Indians and moved the ball back to the the Lee Academy 10 yard line. And on fourth down Shaw found Summers for the winning score.
Palmer had praise for the efforts of his defensive players on Friday.
“They played lights out from the middle of the second quarter on,” he said.
Looking ahead to next week’s opponent, Coach Palmer said that the 13-2 Titans have established their strong program in recent seasons.
"We’ve taken it pretty good on the chin there, a lot of people have done that," Palmer said. "We’ve been there, we’ve done that.
"We just got to get ourselves ready to go play. We get a chance to play football for another week, and a chance to get better.”