The Patriots came up just short in Beaufort Friday.
Fort Dorchester suffered a 24-21 loss to the Eagles in a key Region 8-AAAA game. Beaufort improved to 7-3 on the year with a 2-2 mark in the region with the win while Fort Dorchester fell to 6-4, 2-2.
“Really it was our first sub-par performance of the year,” Patriots coach Steve LaPrad said. “We didn’t make the plays we needed to and we had opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on. Beaufort played harder than us honestly. It was disappointing because even in our losses this year we played well and just didn’t have things go our way.”
After Matt Murray scored on a 16-yard run, the Patriots only trailed 14-7 entering the half. Then the Eagles had the next two scores, a 4-yard TD run and a 25-yard field goal, to put the Patriots’ backs against a wall.
“We had trouble getting things going,” LaPrad said.
Late in the third quarter the Patriots made a push to cut the lead to 3. Quarterback Kobe Garrett broke free for an 80-yard scoring run to put his team back in the game. The Fort then scored in the closing seconds of the quarter on a 1-yard run by Eurndraus Bryant.
The Patriots had another drive deep into Eagle territory in the final quarter, but a fumble cost them the go-ahead TD. After that, the Beaufort defense held.
Garrett finished the night with nearly 200 rushing yards and nearly 100 passing yards. Murray had a 100-yard rushing night.
This Friday, the Patriots hope to bolster their playoff seeding with a win over Ashley Ridge. The two rivals will meet in The Swamp at 7:30 p.m. for the regular-season finale for both teams.