Bluffton erased a 17-point deficit and endured a one-hour lightning delay, but the Bobcats came up short in a wild finish at Screven County, losing 31-30 on Friday.
The Bobcats trailed 24-7 after Gamecocks quarterback Eli Broadnax broke a 58-yard touchdown run on the first series of the second half, but they came storming back behind an effective passing game.
Lee Kirkland was 19-for-33 for 178 yards and three touchdowns – two of which went to Rakim White – to help the Bobcats get back in the game.
The Bobcats pulled within 24-21 on Shamar Sandgren’s touchdown run and had the ball back when the game was delayed by lightning with 8:10 remaining. After an hour-long delay, the Bobcats settled for a game-tying 31-yard field goal from Evan Hayes, but Screven County answered with a methodical drive capped by Shawn Williams’ 6-yard touchdown run.
Bluffton responded with a quick scoring drive of its own, with Kirkland hitting John Swinton for a 19-yard touchdown, but the Bobcats’ two-point conversion attempt failed and the Gamecocks ran out the clock.
Bluffton linebacker Jaylon Thompson left early in the third quarter after dislocating his elbow.
The Bobcats (0-1) host crosstown rival May River next Friday.
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