The Whale Branch football team’s perfect season came to a crushing end Friday, as the Warriors’ second-half comeback fell just short in an 18-15 loss at Bamberg-Ehrhardt in a matchup of unbeaten teams in the SCHSL Class 1A Lower State semifinals.
The Warriors shut out the Red Raiders in the second half but were unable to dig out from an 18-7 halftime lead, as Bamberg-Ehrhardt held on to advance to the state’s final four.
Whale Branch took a 7-6 lead on a trick play, as Joseph Hicks tossed a touchdown pass to Amar Jenkins on a fake field goal, but a punt return score helped the Red Raiders take control before halftime.
The Warriors’ defense dug in after the break, and Jaylen Reeves’ 1-yard touchdown pulled Whale Branch within a field goal, but the Warriors were unable to move into position for a tying field goal at the end of regulation.
Whale Branch (8-1) put together the first undefeated regular season and the longest winning streak in program history.
Photo by Todd Stowe