FOX 54 XTRA POINT: Rivals Silver Bluff, Barnwell battle for 2nd - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

FOX 54 XTRA POINT: Rivals Silver Bluff, Barnwell battle for 2nd time this season

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) -

"When I first was hired here twenty years ago, a little old lady came up to me at a volleyball game," remembers Silver Bluff Head Coach Al Lown. "She said, ‘I don't care if you win but one game, you better beat Barnwell.'"

But that lady never said anything about beating the Warhorses twice in the same season.

But that's the task for Lown and the Bulldogs Friday night in the second round of the state playoffs.

Two weeks ago, Silver Bluff trailed 21-0 at half, only to storm back and break Barnwell's heart, 28-27.

"It was a game of breaks," says Barnwell Head Coach Ed Moore. "We got some breaks in the first half and took advantage of them. They got some breaks in the second half and took advantage of them."

This week, the Warhorses have a chance at redemption, something Moore has preached to his squad at practice.

"There's a lot of things we left on the field that we think we should've done better," he says. "Luckily, we get a chance to go make amends for it just two weeks later."

Not only make amends, but end the season of their main rival, a team this senior class has never beaten.

"We've beaten our other rivals," says Moore. "This is one team that's escaped them, and that's one thing they want to do."

But Lown says rivalry takes a back seat in importance come playoff time.

"Barnwell, second game. All that comes secondary to what we're trying to accomplish," he says.

As the intensity of this rivalry battle ratchets up in the playoffs, both coaches say the players' focus must sharpen as well if they want to keep their season alive.

"It's two different things," says Moore. "You have to be intense, but you also have to maintain your poise and your focus."

"Being focused and wanting it more this time of year means more than anything," says Lown.

And for both teams, Friday's game provides a second chance to prove themselves.

"Most of the time in life you don't get a chance to do that," Moore says. "This situation we get to do it in two weeks."

Silver Bluff was able to get it done Friday, shutting out the Warhorses, 17-0.

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