East Lincoln coach Mike Byus didn’t have a lot of experienced players to bring to the Mustangs’ first 7-on-7 passing tournament of the summer.
No worries, though – Byus had Chazz and Sage Surratt.
The Surratt brothers, who led East Lincoln to a 16-0 record and the NCHSAA 2AA state championship last fall, came up big again as the Mustangs won the Carolina Panthers 7-on-7 tournament Friday at the Panthers’ practice facility.
Chazz Surratt, a rising senior and Duke commit, connected with younger brother Sage Surratt (now a rising junior) for all four East Lincoln touchdowns in a 28-21 victory over top-seeded Cuthbertson in the championship game.
“We were down two receivers because of cramping, and had six starters who didn’t come,” Byus said. “But all the practice Chazz and Sage do together, they know where each other is going to be. That way, we can run a lot of choice routes.”
The Mustangs went 3-1 in round-robin play to get the third seed in bracket play, behind Cuthbertson and No. 2 seed Vance, the only teams to finish 4-0 in round-robin play.
East Lincoln beat No. 6 seed Greer (S.C.) 42-35 in the quarterfinals, and stunned the Cougars 32-21 in overtime in the semifinals to advance to the finals
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers downed eighth-seeded Hilton Head (S.C.) 34-21 in the quarters, then edged fourth-seeded Dorman (S.C.) 35-28 in the semis to set up a rematch with the Mustangs.
Cuthbertson – a 38-21 winner over East Lincoln in round-robin play – got off to a bad start in the championship game. Down 7-0, the Cavaliers were called for delay of game on fourth-and-goal inside the 5-yard line, costing them possession and a chance to tie the score.
“You can’t get a delay of game in 7-on-7 – that’s just ridiculous,” said Cuthbertson coach David Johnson, whose team finished 11-4 last season. “But it was a great day of work for us. That’s all that really matters. I’m happy with how the boys competed, especially on a hot day like this.”
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were two South Carolina schools – Simpsonville Hillcrest and Greenwood – who finished round-robin play at 2-2, tying with Greer and Hilton Head. … Failing to make it past round-robin play were Shelby (1-3), Fayetteville Terry Sanford (1-3), Northern Guilford (0-4) and Blythewood (S.C.) (0-4).