Sam Webb: You guys had an improbable run to the playoffs. Take me through how you got there.
Freddy Brown: "There are two ways to get into the playoffs here. You can win a region. There are eight regions in the state, so 32 teams get to go to the playoffs. You win one or finish in the top three in the regions, you're in. That's 24 teams because there are eight regions. One region has got eight or nine teams in it, so they get an extra one. We ended up with 25 seeded teams and seven unseeded teams. So we go in as a 13 seed; we played the toughest schedule in the state. Every opponent that we played against won a playoff game. How about that?"
Sam Webb: Wow. That's big time.
Freddy Brown: "We didn't play anybody that wasn't in the top eight when we played them. We played four nationally ranked teams. So we had a tough deal there, but we played good ball. It's tough because every night everybody is game planning you. We go into the playoffs and we got to play the 21st ranked team in the nation Rock Hill and they unbeaten, as a 13 seed. We beat them."
Sam Webb: Yeah I read about that.
Freddy Brown: "He (Cornelius Jones) accounted for about 400 yards. We go to the second round and play another region champion in Sumter (SC). Of course, we on the road for all these and he accounted for 324 yards and all 4 touchdowns. We beat them 28-14 on Friday.'
Sam Webb: Sounds like you guys are peaking at the right time.
Freddy Brown: "Yeah. Now we in the state semifinal. We have to play our cross-town rivals, Byrnes. They are in the top five. We win this, we in the state championship."
Sam Webb: It sounds like Cornelius is really coming on. Has he been improving as the season has progressed or has it really just been in the playoffs that he has really started coming on?
Freddy Brown: "He has really stepped up in the playoffs, but he's played well all year, don't get me wrong. The point I'm making is this, they game plan him every week and he has 719 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns and he's thrown for I want to say 1300 or 1400 yards and five touchdowns. My point I'm making is that they game planning, this is good football and they game plan him every week. He's played well in the playoffs. It's a national story, what we're doing right now. We went into the playoffs 3-8 and if we win the state championship, we'll be seven and eight. It doesn't matter when you do it, as long as you do it. For this group to get to the state semifinal, it's been some work, but he's been there leader. He's been fantastic, he really has. It's going to help him grow when he gets up there. It's going to help him. He's been through some hard times, so when he gets there, he'll know hard times."
Sam Webb: You said he has been their leader; was the team down early in the season, and he had to pick them up… stuff like that?
Freddy Brown: "We started off losing to our cross-town rival and national ranked team. We won a couple of games and then we lost a TV game. We lost about five or six in a row and the team was down. He was performing the whole time, but the whole point is that, you've got to fight through adversity. You've got to fight through it and somebody has to stay the constant. We'll bring the rest of them along, but somebody has got to be a constant for us and he's been that constant. He has constantly continued to play well. Sometimes he couldn't make play because again, we run option and they got two on quarterback and nobody on the dive. So he is limited to what he can do based on the way they scheming him, but he has been a kid that is constantly done things for us and done a nice job. He's growing up. He's in the Shrine Bowl, which is the North Carolina-South Carolina game. So he'll play some receiver there and probably play some quarterback, do a little bit of everything. He's a good player."
Sam Webb: When is the Shrine Bowl?
Freddy Brown: "December 19th and it is right here in Spartanburg, but it is 44 North Carolina who'll play 44 players from South Carolina."