Byrnes defends state title with upset of Gaffney - FOX Carolina 21

Byrnes defends state title with upset of Gaffney

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Byrnes used two defensive touchdowns to spark a 31-24 upset of top-ranked Gaffney in the South Carolina 4A Division I state championship game on Saturday.

Gaffney (14-1) outgained Byrnes (13-2) 403-239, but Skip Barnes returned an interception 30 yards and Melvin Armstrong returned a fumble 60 yards for TDs as the Rebels avenged a regular-season loss.

It is the second straight season Byrnes has avenged a regular-season loss and beaten the state's top-ranked and undefeated No. 1 in the title game.

Gaffney's Joey Copeland threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns and had two interceptions. Quinshad Davis, the state's player of the year, had 184 yards receiving and a score.

Shakeem Wharton gained 100 yards rushing for the Rebels, who won their 12th state title and eighth in the past 10 seasons.

Davis' 54-yard TD with 7:48 to go pulled the Indians within a touchdown, but Byrnes stopped Gaffney on its final two possessions.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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