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Gaffney upsets No. 3 Byrnes

Bentley intercepted with 28 seconds to play

11:57 PM, Oct. 12, 2012 EDT

Gaffney’s Hyleck Foster played only one defensive play Friday night. He made the most of it.

Foster intercepted quarterback Shuler Bentley with 28 seconds to play, securing Gaffney’s 22-18 win against Byrnes.

“They put me in and said, ‘Hyleck, can you play man coverage?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir,'" said Foster, Gaffney’s starting running back, who also rushed for the go-ahead touchdown with 44 seconds remaining.

“It's just joyful,” Foster said. “I don’t know how to explain it. I’m just too excited.”

Byrnes entered the game ranked No. 3 in the USA TODAY Super 25 national poll. Gaffney entered the game with three losses.

Byrnes (7-1, including 3-1 in Region 2-AAAA) averaged 43.3 points per game against its previous seven opponents. Gaffney (5-3, 3-1) held Byrnes to its lowest point total since the Indians’ 35-13 victory over the Rebels in Week Four last season.

Byrnes has been held to less than 20 points seven times since 2008, three times by Gaffney.

Gaffney gained 337 yards on Byrnes’ defense with a quarterback, Shaq Davidson, who was playing exclusively at wide receiver three weeks ago.

Yet, Davidson orchestrated the game-winning drive like a seasoned signal-caller.

He completed two of three passes, including a 42-yard strike to Brandon Bevis that advanced the ball to the 4-yard line. On the next play, Foster took a direct snap and slipped into the end zone untouched, lifting Gaffney to the 22-18 advantage.

Byrnes produced a pivotal play on the first snap after each of Gaffney’s four scores.

Foster gave Gaffney a 6-0 lead with a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Bentley threw his first interception on the next snap.

Gaffney converted that turnover into a field goal. On the next snap, Bentley connected with Akia Booker for an 80-yard touchdown.

Davidson scored on a 47-yard scramble with 8:15 to play, giving Gaffney a 15-10 lead. On the next snap, Bentley tossed a 50-yard pass to Greg McHam. He followed with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Booker.

Byrnes claimed an 18-15 lead with a two-point conversion.

Davidson lost a fumble on the next possession, but Gaffney forced Byrnes to punt after three plays, setting up Gaffney’s final drive at the 32-yard line.

On the first snap after his go-ahead touchdown, Foster soared for the interception.

“This made a statement,” said Foster. “They came in No. 3 in the nation and they had all the hype. They said, ‘They can’t be beat,’ but we came in and made the statement.

“I respect them, but we just had to wait for our moment and we struck it.”



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