South Florence rallies to win after teammate loses mother

FLORENCE, SC- It's been an emotional week for South Florence kicker Evan Rabon. His mother, Doris, died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer and her funeral was Thursday morning.

And only a few hours later, the Bruins were set to battle Blythewood at Memorial Stadium and Rabon was faced with the decision of whether he should play or not.

"I know my mom would be pretty mad if I didn't play," said Rabon. "I know she's looking down right now and she's happy I did. She would be mad at me if I just sat home feeling sorry for myself so I did it for her really and the guys out here."

And the Bruins rallied around Rabon, Thursday night, defeating Blythewood 38-13.

"It was an opportunity for our team to rally around one of their teammates and support him in a situation that was pretty tough to deal with and the kids have been so great for Evan and each other this week," said South Florence Head Coach David Prince. "It was just great to put it all together tonight for a victory."

"It got my mind off things and started new again," said Rabon. "I know my mom's in a better place now and that's where she needs to be. She's pain free, so I'm happy for her."

South Florence players and coaches attended the funeral. In honor of Rabon's mother Thursday night, several wore "D-R-A-26" on wrist tape or wristbands, and coaches wore pink and black ribbons. Several students painted the same on their backs.

"Ever since I came to south, I bonded with everyone really well," said Rabon. "They've become my family really and even though I just kick they put me in front of everything. They want me to do everything with them so I was real happy about that. They really include me with a lot of things."

On the field, Rabon was 4-of-4 on PATs and 1-of-3 on field goals, including a 55-yard miss late in the game.

"My play was alright," said Rabon.  I know coach prince let me try some things I usually wouldn't tried to I guess boost my confidence but the last field goal at the end was just for the fun of it."

South Florence begins region play this week with a trip to Sumter. The Bruins look to begin defense of its Region 6-4A championship.

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