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Eagles 'hold' on for victory over Rebels
Zekeil Walls
Effingham County linebacker Ezekeil Walls (25) struggles to break from the grip of a Beaufort blocker while trying to get to quarterback Jeffrey Smyth (5) on Friday at Eagle Field. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
The guys never backed down. I'm really proud of that.
Rebels coach Buddy Holder
Scott runback
Effingham County's Randy Scott breaks through an early wave of tacklers during a fourth-quarter kickoff return Friday night. The Rebels thought he scored a 98-yard touchdown but an official ruled that he stepped out of bounds at the Beaufort 42. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A window of opportunity opened suddenly Friday night and the Effingham County Rebels (2-1) nearly slipped through it. An official’s ruling, however, shuttered the Rebels’ chances for victory in the closing minutes of a 21-13 loss to Beaufort (3-0) at Eagle Field. With 7:03 remaining, Effingham County’s Randy Scott returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown that seemed to have cut the gap to 21-19. Scott burst through an early wave of tacklers and then scurried down the sideline in front of the Rebels’ bench. The exciting play, which came right after the Eagles scored on a 30-yard run on a third-and-1 situation, set off a celebration that lasted several seconds before the Rebels’ realized that an official said Scott stepped out of bounds at the Beaufort 42. Effingham County turned the ball over on downs three plays later and never threatened to score again. “The kids competed hard,” Rebels coach Buddy Holder said. “Some of the calls didn’t go our way.” Effingham County defenders were held at the line of scrimmage repeatedly — and the Eagles were flagged for it numerous times — but it was the runback ruling that bothered Holder the most. “I’m not sure. I’m going to look at it on film,” he said. “I told the guys I think (the official) stole a touchdown from Randy. I don’t think you should ever take a touchdown away from a kid. I don’t care what the hometown is or whatever. “I was a little ashamed of that.” Despite the constant battle against holding, the Rebels managed to limit the Eagles to 14 points for three and a half quarters. They turned a first-quarter drive away at the goal line with a fumble recovery and thwarted another one deep push in the fourth quarter even though an interception in the end zone by Julian LeGrande was negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty. “The guys never backed down. I’m really proud of that,” Holder said. See the Sept. 5 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.