It seems as if the Charleston Post & Courier seldom writes a story about Mount Pleasant without referring to it as “the fourth largest city in South Carolina.”
A source of local pride, no doubt. And newsworthy. I didn’t know.
I learned a lot on Friday, a day when Interstate 26 might as well have been the L.A. Freeway, only slower. I narrowly avoid wrecking before I even got to Columbia. I was proud of my ability to correct and not overcorrect as soon as my hands stopped shaking.
The Laurens Academy Crusaders’ bus broke down, which I didn’t know until I showed up at Park West Field, which is in Park West Recreation Complex, which is quite a jump from Palmetto Christian Academy. Even though I had talked to the Eagles’ head coach, and he had assured me the game was there, when I got there, almost no one else was. I even found another football field, where 12-year-olds were having a knock-down, drag-out fray. When I drove back to the other field, I saw the evening’s most impressive feat. A burly fellow picked up one of two aluminum benches – I was sitting on the other – and carried it across the field to the other sideline. It was about five yards wide. He looked like the long, lost weightlifting Wallenda.
The Flying Wallendas are tightrope artists, kids.
Yet I didn’t take a picture.
I paid attention to the light-blue sidelines on light-green grass which were the closest thing to invisible chalk I’ve seen. I think it was the first game I’ve ever watched in which the chain crew was on the home sideline. This was explained to me, insufficiently, as a COVID-19 precaution, but I detected no effect on the play of the game.
Ah, the game. The late-night game. The get-back-home-at-3 a.m. game.
Palmetto Christian Academy has 2.84 times the students as Laurens Academy. The Eagles had won their opening game, 62-20, over the school, Clarendon Hall, LA hosts next week.
With 1 minute, 29 seconds remaining in Friday night’s game, which started over an hour late while LA parents were doing the high school football version of rescuing their kids at Dunkirk, the Crusaders led 38-36. After falling behind 16-0 in the game’s first 7:51, LA took the lead on quarterback Thomas Lowry’s 4-yard run.
The ending was awful, not unlike the matter of getting there. One twin, Connor Rourk, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to the other, Carson, and in the aftermath of the winning score, someone knocked down LA’s Will Jones, who was left writhing on the ground. The refs penalized PCA on the kickoff, but 8.9 seconds is not even much time in 8-man football.
The Crusaders are a plucky but also an 0-2 bunch. Provided these agonizing losses don’t start piling up like tetraminos -- tetraminos are the shapes that fall in games of Tetris, which must be right because it's on Wikipedia – better nights are ahead.