CENTRAL — The Daniel Lions (2-5, 1-3) expected a fight with the Belton-Honea Path Bears (6-1, 4-0) but had no idea there would be a shootout last Friday night in Central before falling short 48-47 with no time remaining.
Coming into the contest, Belton-Honea Path was expected to post big numbers on the scoreboard and they did, but it was not expected, considering the way 2015 has played out for Daniel. The first quarter was a clear indication as to how much fight the Lions have in them.
Carter Groomes would lead the Daniel attack, pulling in three touchdown passes from QB Ben Batson including a 68-yard reception to knot the score at 14-14 in the first quarter and a second for a short TD to extend the Daniel lead to 34-21 in the second. Batson also had a big night for the Lions, especially late in the game.
After posting a 20-14 lead in the first and heading into halftime with a 34-21 lead, Daniel was in a position to pull away but Belton-Honea Path had other ideas, responding with 14 unanswered points in the third quarter and a narrow 35-34 lead.
For the Bears the lead wouldn’t hold.
With the score tied at 41-41 and only :48 left on the clock, Belton-Honea Path hit paydirt with a long TD strike to take a 48-41 lead, putting the Lions down with little time to spare.
But Daniel would strike back in dramatic fashion with :09 on the clock as Batson connected with C. J. Scott for a 68-yard gain, putting the ball at the Belton-Honea Path 2-yard line. On the next play Batson would scramble into the endzone, cutting the lead to 48-47.
An extra point would have almost assured OT but coach Randy Robinson decided to go for the win and the Belton-Honea Path defense came up with its biggest stop of the night, squashing the conversion with no time remaining to seal the win.
Daniel will return home Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. for homecoming with Pickens making the short trip to Central.
Reach D. C. Moody at 864-855-0355.