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By Travis Jenkins

When Chester linemen Wyatt Tunall and Daniel Elkins paved the way for a first down late in the fourth quarter they also paved the way to state.
For the first time in 10 years and only the third time in the last 55, the Cyclones will play for a state football title, getting there with a 21-14 win over Union County in the upperstate championship game Friday night.
Chester broke a 14-14 tie in the final minutes. The Yellow Jackets started a drive at their own 11 with just over five minutes to play but suffered an illegal touching penalty then some sort of miscommunication that led to quarterback Kesean Glover spiking the ball at his own five on third-and-long. Union had to punt from its own end zone and the Cyclones got excellent starting field position at the Union County 34. From there, the Cyclones needed only five plays to take the lead. Pha’Leak Brown bounced a run outside for 20 yards and freshman quarterback Zan Dunham finished the march off with a touchdown on a three-yard keeper.
The Yellow Jackets had one last gasp. On the first play of their ensuing drive, Glover looked to throw on first down but was flushed from the pocket by Chester’s pass rush. He escaped, bounced outside and picked up 30 yards to the Cyclones 35. Union County lost four yards on the next three plays, though, and threw incomplete to the end zone on fourth down. With just over 90 seconds to play, Chester needed but one first down to put it on ice.
“That last minute-and-a-half was big...Union County had a good game plan. They were stacking eight and nine in the box. So, we ran behind Wyatt and Daniel. We put it on them,” said Chris Dodson, Chester offensive line coach.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, the emotions poured out of Tunall, Chester’s senior left tackle.
“I just love these boys,” he said.
Early on in the game, Chester was playing keep away as much as football. They ran 20 plays to Union County’s six and held the ball for almost 16:30 in the first half. The Cyclones forced two turnover in Yellow Jackets territory in the opening frame but couldn’t take advantage of either, turning it over on downs twice.
“I told them at halftime that we can’t let that haunt us,” said Chester Coach Victor Floyd.
In the second, Union County had one of its best drives of the night, going 69 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. The Cyclones answered on their next drive, going 75 yards in nine plays. Dunham provides a spark with a 20-yard run on third-and-short early in the possession. On a night when there wasn’t 100 yards passing total, Dunham actually went to the air to tie it up. He sold a play fake, then turned and hit running back Stan Mills in the flat in stride for a 12-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 just seconds before halftime. Floyd said that was pivotal for the sake of taking momentum into the half.
Chester took its first lead of the night in the third quarter with Dunham capping a 73-yard march with a three-yard scoring run. Brown’s 48-yard scamper set that up. Union County answered later in the stanza to tie it at 14 all, setting up Chester’s big finish.
Brown ran for 139 yards. Dunham accounted for all three Chester scores. With the win, the Cyclones move to 14-0 for the first time in program history and will face lowerstate champ Dillon Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium for the AAA state title.

Foe a video of highlights and interviews go to https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=eRdnidXF6X8