Thomas Heyward has seemed like a team on a mission all season, and the mission has nearly been accomplished.
The Rebels earned the rematch they coveted with a 52-30 home win over Carolina Academy on Friday, setting up a clash with Pee Dee Academy for the SCISA Class 1A championship next week. The Rebels and Eagles will meet for the title at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday at Benedict College in Columbia.
Jake Masters threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores to lead Thomas Heyward’s powerful offense. Bobby Payne caught a touchdown pass and added a touchdown run, and Joe Gibson caught two long touchdown passes.
Trey Pusha added a kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Rebels the lead for good, and Thomas Heyward’s defense recorded a safety.
Thomas Heyward (12-0) and Pee Dee were supposed to meet during the regular season, but the game was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. The Eagles have knocked the Rebels out of the playoffs each of the past two seasons, and Thomas Heyward would love to return the favor on the biggest stage.
The Rebels will play in the state championship game for the first time since 2012 and are seeking their first title since 1981.