Editor's note: Deondray Stanfield scored the game-winning touchdown for St. James Friday night. An earlier version of this story was incorrect.
A four-yard touchdown run from St. James’ Deondray Stanfield with 24.2 seconds broke the hearts of the Loris Lions as they fell to the Sharks 32-28 on the road.
“I am really proud of how hard our kids played tonight,” said Loris head coach Jamie Snider. “I thought they left it all out there on the field but at the end of the day, we made too many mistakes at all the wrong times.”
Loris had a rough start to the game as defensive back Amarion Riggins muffed the first punt, handing the ball to St. James inside the red zone. However, the Lions defense stood tall and only allowed a field goal.
Things would go from bad to worse for the Lions as St. James’ Ethan White connected with Randy Smith for a 39-yard touchdown toss to put the Sharks up 10-0 with just under three minutes in the first quarter.
Loris finally got on the board early in the second quarter thanks to a quarterback keeper from Gage Conner from a yard out and the score would remain 10-7 going into the halftime break.
Junior Brice Faircloth came alive for the Lions midway through the third quarter, getting a huge 52-yard run to get Loris inside the St. James 30 before capping off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 Loris.
Faircloth finished the game with 78 yards rushing on eight carries. He also had five catches for 29 yards.
After taking a 17-14 lead, St. James looked to score again early in the fourth quarter but instead found themselves trailing after a fumble ended up being recovered in the end zone by James Hughes.
St. James would shake off the mistake and go on a 13-play, 63-yard drive to retake the lead and get a two-point conversion to make it 25-21 with 3:29 remaining in the game.
Much like his teammate Faircloth, junior wide receiver Chris Gilchrist would come up huge on the ensuing drive, getting two 30-yard receptions, the latter being a touchdown to give the Lions a 28-25 lead with just over two and a half minutes remaining.
Snider said that the performances from Faircloth and Gilchrist are something he expects week in and week out for his team.
“They keep doing what they’re doing and we get everyone else right and improve on our mistakes, that’s what next week is about,” he said.
The Sharks made their final drive of the game count, going 69 yards and seeing Stanfield march his way into the end zone to give St. James the late lead.
A chance at a comeback for the Lions would be dashed immediately when Conner’s pass was intercepted by Justice Williams. Following the loss, the Loris players were extremely upset with the result as they walked off the field.
“This means something to them,” Snider said. “We just have to get better.”
The Lions (0-1) will look to bounce back at home against North Myrtle Beach next week. The Chiefs defeated Conway 24-7 on Friday.
“Coach Reel and his staff always do a tremendous job,” Snider said. “We will have our hands full at home against them next week for sure.”
Kickoff between Loris and North Myrtle Beach is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. St. James (1-0), meanwhile, will host Hilton Head at 7:30 p.m.