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Vols Upset Gamecocks

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Vols Upset Gamecocks

The University of Tennessee scored with three minutes to go to overcome slight favorites South Carolina to clinch the SCRC East.

In a typical tight game between two longtime rivals, Tennessee took an early lead with a penalty kick from Andrew Sayers. South Carolina replies, taking the lead with a try from James Whipper, and Brian Keown’s conversion made it 7-3.

The Gamecocks extended their lead when Sean Barnes went over, but after that, Tennessee responded.

“The biggest thing we had is we were able to defend really well inside our own 22,” said Tennessee Head Coach Marty Bradley. “They put us under a lot of pressure, and for the most part we were able to hold them out. Both teams had opportunities they wasted, and finally we were able to capitalize on a couple.”

Fullback Sam Hawkins raced in for a try that, with a Sayers conversion, made it 17-10.

That set up the final chance. Tennessee mauled it over, and flanker Bobby Hughes broke off to score.

Tennessee held on one more USC charge to win it.

Bradley praised Hughes and lock Kerry Roberts for their defensive performance.

“Throughout the season we’ve found a way to make poor decisions at key moments,” said Bradley. “And we made some bad choices in this game, too. But we overcame them with a lot of effort and emotion.”

Also in the SCRC, Alabama finished off their regular season 6-0 with a 26-22 defeat of Mississippi State. Florida had a chance to clinch a playoff spot, but their game against Ole Miss was called off due to weather. So there’s still much to play for in the chase for the final playoff spot. Alabama will take on South Carolina in one semi, and Tennessee could host one of four teams.