As the Ben Lippen coaching staff huddled outside the lockerroom at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, the consensus was the Falcons had to get Bryce Thompson going.
The Virginia Tech commit did get going in a big way, scoring a pair of second half touchdowns and the game-winner in overtime in Ben Lippen's 27-21 victory over Porter Gaud in the SCISA 3A state championship game.
Thompson's seven-yard run gave the Falcons a 13-7 lead. With Ben Lippen trailing 21-13 in the fourth quarter and the ball at the Falcon 41, Thompson got loose for a 59-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good - setting the stage for an overtime that featured a fourth-down stand by the Ben Lippen defense and Thompson's third score of the night. His 10-yard touchdown on Ben Lippen's first play in the extra period set off a wild celebration as the Falcon football program sealed its first state championship.
"i couldn't do it without my team," said Thompson.
"I've got the best team in South Carolina hands down."
The win avenged an earlier loss to Porter Gaud, a game that saw Thompson ejected for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"We had a lot of doubters," said Thompson.
"People said we couldn't do it. We just took that as fuel. We just kept grinding and grinding until we came out and we're champions now."
Thompson finished with 171 yards rushing and will now turn his attention to basketball as he and several football players will also be playing for first-year head coach John Combs.
When asked recently, how his team is shaping up, Combs replied "Just waiting on football to end."
Combs naturally has enjoyed watching the Falcon football team make history and he hopes that taste of a championship will filter to the other sports at the school.