S.C. running back’s title game hurdle is one of the plays of the year

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

There were plenty of highlights in Dillon (S.C.) High's Class 2A state title victory against Fairfield (S.C.) Central High. None were as eye-catching as the play you see below, which was turned in by a budding star from the eventual losing side.

Trailing 14-6 in the second quarter, Fairfield Central handed the ball off to young back Damian Bell. After bursting through a small gap in the line, Bell found himself facing a prospective Dillon tackler head on.

Rather than put his shoulder down and truck through, Bell decided to take the higher road, quite literally, hurdling directly over the defender in a move that was eerily reminiscent to LeGarrette Blount's famous run for Tampa Bay.

Unlike many other states, the South Carolina referees didn't call the run back for a penalty --most states' high school football rules hold that hurdling an opponent should draw a flag -- and Bell's run pushed Fairfield Central closer to a potential game-tightening score.

As it turns out, that wasn't to be, with the possession petering out before Central could reach the end zone. Dillon later went on to add another touchdown and pad its victory, though it will never be able to look back and claim the game's greatest play. That honor will forever more be the purview of Central and Bell in particular.

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